Money Can’t Buy Happiness



…..But, it can buy me a Ranch and a Hot tub to sit in…..

Removing her towel, she carefully placed her coffee mug on the cup holder so that it would not spill its milky foam into the clear sparkling mineral water.  She lowered herself into the Jacuzzi and groaned in ecstasy as the first sensations rushed to greet her. Goosebumps instantly arose that just as quickly melted away, one by one, as she sank deeper into the steaming water. It felt like coming home.

The sun and red sandstone cliffs peeked out sporadically from low lying clouds that hung over the hazy mountains as she settled in under the little water fall that cascaded over her neck and shoulders.    While savoring her first sips of the rich cappuccino, she took in her surroundings with gratitude; the Tibetan flags a reminder of her travels, the distant red hills and, of course her beloved Ferrari.

Yard Art 005-001

Ferrari was a life sized bronze,  rearing magnificently against a Rocky Mountain backdrop, front legs slashing, thick black mane flying; a symbol of a young girl’s dream ‘come true’. Even as a little girl, she had a crazy unexplained passion for horses and a dream that she would one day live on a ranch.  With a sigh she thought, “This is it. This is happiness.” A smile crossed her lips as the country lyrics hummed through her mind, “…money can’t buy happiness…but it can buy me a boat….and it can buy me a truck to pull it“.  And, she knew that happiness, that coveted state of mind, was just a puppet named desire. So, maybe she couldn’t buy happiness, but she could buy her ranch, and a hot tub to soak in …. and in a crashing art market after a few too many cocktails, she could buy Ferrari.

Closing her eyes, she begged her resistant mind to surrender its eternal attempt to grasp, narrate and cling to the bombarding sensual stimuli that kept her so rooted in her body. She felt herself lift into the dizziness of pure joy, a resonance she would always strive for and only occasionally meet. The stress of weeks of slaying energy vampires melted away. Faintly in the distance, the last thing to escape her consciousness was the gentle rustling of the curtain over her bed in the window above.  Slowly and intentionally she slipped into the solitude that would heal her jonsing heart.

Timelessness was shattered by thunder rumbling in the distance and a sharp rush of wind  pushing up against the clouds. When she opened her eyes, she was surprised to find herself suddenly enveloped in an eerie fusion of rising steam and descending fog. The scent of rain danced on the wind and she deeply inhaled the rainy-land freshness intermingled with lavender. She smiled at first and then laughed out loud as she marveled at the huge raindrops splashing against the waters calm surface. Cold drops plunked down against her shoulders, so different from the soft whisper of the winter’s snow. The rain stirred up heightened sensations that raced through her body and she loved it all. She was in love with life. In the background, she heard the tiny voice of Ego say, “I wonder if sitting in a Jacuzzi during a thunderstorm could make this year’s list as one of the “Dumbest ways to die”. She shrugged.   Today was probably as good a day to die as any and she could only think of one or two other ways to do it better.

She had learned the hard way that happiness was illusive, fleeting and messy. It was fickle and could change on a dime with a phone call, a memory, or a glimpse of two lovers in a familiar pickup truck. She had also discovered that she could still find joy even when there was no happiness to be found. Joy was the innocent nature of being childlike; and she could always recognize its presence in the eyes of children even as they railed against the injustices of their life.  Joy was reborn in her a year ago when she first recognized it’s quiet beat in her heart.  Joy had waited there patiently for a lifetime for her to find her way back home.