Today, I want to write about happiness. Here are 20 things that leave me content, make me laugh, fill me with joy —
* Sledding parties on sunny March days when everyone from 5 to 50 flies down the hill and their laughter echoes through the trees.
* Coming indoors after a sledding party to a crackling wood stove and hot cocoa.
* Sunshine after 8 p.m.
* The fact that my father’s delight when I gave him a signed first edition of Bernard Cornwell’s newest novel wasn’t because it was a signed first edition, but because it was one he hadn’t read yet.
* Two hours spent utterly absorbed in a good book.
* The lines from my mother’s newest poems:
I was born in a wet month
that rains promises
of a forever spring.
* Hearing my husband Sam’s voice over our walkie-talkie as he plows the driveway in the dark. “The Northern lights are out!” Turning off all the house lights and rushing to the window to see a sheet of electric green rippling behind the mountains.
* Two hours spent cross-country skiing out of our backyard through sunlit birch trees, crossing paths with fox, ermine, grouse, and moose.
* Sam making moose meat burek for dinner when we learned The Snow Child will be published in Albania (recipe and publishing deal courtesy of Tracy at Little, Brown & Co.)
* News that The Snow Child’s list of foreign publishers has grown to include Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, Brazil, Israel, Serbia, Romania, Albania, and Poland.
* Listening to my oldest daughter as she sings Italian arias.
* The knowledge that our children will have talents and do things we never would have dreamed of doing.
* The hope that we might drill a well this summer and not have to haul water anymore.
* Warm chicken eggs in the nest on a cold morning.
* A 5-year-0ld’s knock-knock jokes, that only she gets but that make us all laugh.
* Pussy willows.
* Mud puddles.
* Knowing spring will come, and then be gone again.
What makes you happy?