The sun is setting in a pink sky, the May breeze is turning slightly cool, and I’m sitting on my front steps gazing at the abandoned field just beyond my front lawn and reveling in this surprising truth that unveiled itself moments ago.
Why ‘scandalously’, you ask? Well, because it’s kind of a scandal to be happy in this day and age, isn’t it? What with all the crises surrounding us: wars, bombings, famines, rising seas? What with all the pressures on each of us to do and be something great or at least noteworthy and the perpetual realization that not everyone can come out on top of the heap? What with everything there is to worry about, in our lives and our children’s lives? What with that startling discovery of adulthood immortalized by the Rolling Stones, that “you can’t always get what you want”? Life is full of disappointments and trials and mini-disasters and some big ones. And, honestly, it’s not very cool to be happy. Not very trendy. Not very artistic.
But tonight, at least, I can’t help myself. I’ve been through my share of trauma in the past few years. My share of disappointment. And despair. And fear. Maybe that’s another reason this feeling rising in my chest feels scandalous. How can I be happy after all of that? How can I be here, tonight, joyfully keeping watch over the sunset as my husband, after a long day’s work, dozes on the couch? How did I get back to this place where ecstasy is as close as my front stoop?
I don’t know, honestly. All I know is, I’m grateful. Scandal be damned.