Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Here's What Makes Meme Happiest; How 'Bout You'm?

The other day, my friend Becky printed a “meme” that she found on another blog, offering it for others to take and do with what they chose. I’d never heard the word “meme,” so I looked it up. Here’s one definition from Dictionary.com:

meme- n. A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.

Hmm.  Anyway, the meme was simply to list 10 things that make you happy. Fun game. My problem was that there was no way I could keep it to ten. So I cheated and condensed them so much that they got ridiculous. 

So finally I gave up and started listing specific times I remember being overwhelmingly happy, and it was such a nice exercise that I invite you to do your own. What I discovered was that my happiest moments seem rare and precious and have a transcendent quality that leaves me feeling as if I’ve been touched by the divine.

For example, when I lived in Denver I’d occasionally drive up the mountains alone to a spot in Estes Park that was on the very edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. I’d throw a jacket on and change my summer shorts and hike up to the top of a mountain, just beyond the snow line, and look down. That echo of infinite blue mountains and unmelting snow and endless beauty was so completely untouched by humanity that it caught the air in my throat and brought tears to my eyes, and I would find myself standing as still as I could and holding my breath because I was an outsider in a holy place too sacred for something as unworthy as my breathing, even. It was like being allowed to glimpse the face of God. There is always something ironic to me in being so small and humbled as to slip into a spiritual wormhole and become a part of something huge. That's when the human spirit truly takes wing.

And when I felt filled up and grounded again, I would carefully tiptoe back through my own footprints to leave the snow as untouched as possible so as not to sully it with my graceless humanity, and drive home, feeling at once lightened and enlightened.

There is such a thing as perfection...and our purpose for living is to find that perfection and show it forth....Each of us is in truth an unlimited idea of freedom. Everything that limits us we have to put aside. ~Richard Bach


  1. I'm so glad you chose to give this a try, and although you "made up your own rules", what you wrote was just beautiful....as your writing always is!

  2. There certainly are places in nature that are truly humbling. And after seeing them, how can anyone doubt there is a superior being at work in our lives?

  3. Tammy, your words feel divinely inspired. You have such a way of describing. I know exactly what you mean about nature. Whale watching was most moving experience (except for giving birth). The captain claimed that they hadn't had any sightings for the past three days; he prepared us for disappointment. Then suddenly without any warning a whale breeched right in front of us, slapped the water with its flipper and dived. It brought tears to our eyes, and after the initial excitement and comments, everyone watched with silent reverence. Passengers darted from side to side clicking pictures, collectively sighing and awwing. Then the whale dived. We waited fifteen minutes with no further sightings. Passengers moaned when the captain started the engines. Everyone strained for one last glimpse, then the whale burst out of the water, and burped loud and long, permeating the air with fish breath. It was a one of a kind experience, truly memorable, hilarious and incredibly soul touching.

  4. Hi Tammy,

    What a nice memory for you to share; I can just picture everything perfectly. Out here in Oregon we have some awesome, God inspired beauty too. I think I need to get back out into it.

    Thank you,


  5. Thanks, Becky! I meant to tell you (if I didn't) that I loved your 10 things. Especially that you put "learning" as one of them! Amen!

  6. Linda, I never would have guessed that I could read about silent reverence and loud, fishy burping in the same piece and have it speak so eloquently to my soul!!! Not to mention my funny bone. I've always wanted to whale-watch. Beautiful story, beautifully told!

  7. Hi Kathy! I saw a few of your pictures on your blog...you definitely have some God-inspired beauty there! Thanks for stopping by!


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