Poem: Happiness

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Happiness is not as elusive as we make it out to be
It is because we look for it in the wrong places, personify it with the wrong things, and expect it from the wrong people.
Happiness is many things and a person seeking for happiness must be careful, vigilant and ready to look closely in the most unexpected places, persons and situations.
Happiness is the sound of your breathing uninterrupted,
It’s the noiseless movement of your bones without any friction or discomfort despite your age,
It’s the balance in one’s blood pressure,
It is the ability to consume the sweet things without a second thought.

Happiness is the rhythmic sound of your heartbeat,
It is the silence in your mind not from contentment but from hope,
It is looking at the past with a smile at the future,
It is knowing that nothing from the past can hurt you,
It is looking at the future with uncertainty and yet with determination.

Happiness is the knowledge that your stomach only rumbles when you’re hungry,
It is your choice between what to eat, how to eat, and when to eat.
It one’s ability to select,
The ability and opportunity to say yes and no when need be,
It is the privilege to say you don’t want this or that just because you can,
It is coming home to the spicy aroma of delicacies that others only dream about,
It is having leftovers,
It is feeding your pets what others may never dream of,
It is that hot creamy or black cup of tea in morning and the mental certainty of lunch and dinner.

Happiness is the roof over your head,
It is the comfortable bed or couch in our space,
It is yours and your loved ones’ soundless sleep and the clear hope that you will see in the morning,
It is the feeling of your loved one behind you in bed or in the next room at night,
It is waking up daily for so long without any effort on your part,
It is the comfort you draw from an embrace
It is the satisfied smile on the face when you know you can reach out and touch who you want to at any time.

It is long conversations with your eyes,
It is the transfer of emotions by a simple touch of the hand across the face or head,
It is intimacy without vulgarity,
It is the lack of constant validation,
It is satisfaction in your skin.

Happiness is the loud laughter you share with friends and cousins
It is the sneaky whispers between friends and siblings about others and things in a humorous manner,
It is the lack of malice, envy, jealousy and hate
It is the late, so late night phone calls that draw on and on thus making the lack of sleep at work tomorrow seem worth it.
It is saving a seat for him/her for hours,
It is volumes spoken in silence,
It is honesty and trust in each other, and in the world.

It is the still small voice within your heart telling you everything is just fine even though you slept with pain and worry at the pit of your stomach.

Happiness is deep assurance you have in the future even though the present seems dire,
It is the absolute confidence in a supreme Deity you have never seen,
It is having a belief so strong that a life span of 60-70 years is unable to change
It is a strong confidence in the ability of that Deity to uphold all that concerns you and those you love
It is watching the news, listening to rumors, and watching loved ones breath their last with the certain knowledge that one day it could be you but you still go on living,
It is the lack of control you experience from time to time which in turn drives home the point of how ephemeral your/our lives are.

Happiness is forgiveness,
It is letting go even before you are asked too,
It is the feeling of helplessness you have when you are hurt and lack the desire to inflict the same to others,
It is letting go because holding on does more damage than good without being cajoled,
It looking at that person from your past…and smiling in growth, strength, maturity and grace,
It is your flexibility when change occurs suddenly,
It is the accommodation of your faults and those of others with our sights set firmly on yours and their positives,
It is disagreeing without dissention,
It is allowing others to go ahead of us.

Happiness is kindness, of heart and action,
It is helping the old woman by the roadside with her burden,
Is taking time to play with the kids on your street,
It is giving alms,
It is doing it instead of waiting for someone else,

Happiness is many things in camouflage and can easily be mistaken as something else,
Whatever happiness is you or me…it is definitely not MONEY!

Usman Nuhu Musa,


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