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Playing with Fire

Do you ever do that thing of making a list of the stuff that makes you happy, a la, My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music? It’s easy to forget about it as you move through your life and replace the old favorite things with new ones. 

As I stood outside just now, waiting for my doggies to relieve themselves, a wonderful misty rain was falling, the kind that lands on your eyelashes without making you flinch. We rarely get that kind of rain here in Florida. I stood there with my face up to the sky, reflecting on my day, smiling at my good fortune. 

I got to indulge in an old favorite activity today. When I arrived at one of my pet sitting client’s houses, I found a couple of logs smoldering in a homemade fire pit in the back yard next to the lake. This property is home to a most amazing old growth of gigantic trees, banana plants, and oversized elephant ears. They probably did a good burn yesterday, Sunday, and the coals were still hot. BONANZA! 


I suppose I was taking a little more liberty than I should, but I just had to see if I could get those big log pieces to burn some more. Besides, I was helping clean up the brush from their yard, so it was a win-win situation. Having some spare time today I thought, what the heck? Over the next two hours, I collected branches, broke them into little pieces, and fed them to the fire goddess, all the while listening to podcasts of Caroline Myss’ radio show on my iPhone. I could feel my spirit meter filling back up as my hair and clothes became saturated with smoke. I was in heaven!


There is a hand-written sign along the road nearby that advertises “smoked mullet”. I chuckle every time I see it, remembering the bad haircuts we used to wear in the 80s and how godawful we looked and smelled after a weekend of camping. Seriously, there’s nothing more disgusting nor more fabulous than the stench of one’s person after 3 days in the woods without bathing. But there is no experience in the world to compare with the hot shower that’s waiting for you when you get home. 

I just took one of those soul-scouring showers and managed to wash away most of the smoke. My spirit meter is still bobbing around in the ecstatic zone as my blood pressure has settled back down into a healthy range. 

Happiness is really a pretty simple concept. Too bad most of us walk right past it, not believing there’s so little to it.  Today, I know it’s true.

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