Is anyone really happy? This question arose on Friday evening over supper with friends (a supposedly happily married couple). It was something I had been musing on for a while, as I contemplated the number of friends in their fifties and sixties who seem to be depressed, in the process of a divorce or some other relationship breakdown, on the one hand, and many much younger people who simply can't get through the prospect of an evening without a few stiff drinks. Why does joy so elude us?
Career changes, fitness regimes, vitamins and daily pep talks don't seem to have the desired effect any longer and even deeply religious friends who for years have drawn strength and comfort from their faith seem to falter.
Our dog who passes most days uneventfully alone at home, quivvers at the prospect of a walk. Any walk, even the one we have taken hundreds of times around our neighbourhood. Pulling wildly on the leash with the force of an untrained puppy, our twelve-year-old black bullet strains forward, senses abuzz, ever optimistic that a hunt is just around the next corner. Sometimes she is lucky. A pet rabbit runs loose on the corner plot and occassionally strays through the wide bars of the fence. With a squeal, Jessie is off. The bunny is used to this, but knows she shouldn't take chances and hops with amazing speed through the nearest bars. Exhausted but satisfied, Jessie trots on homeward, happy just to have chased (but not caught a bunny).
I wonder what my bunny is?