While I was walking towards the waterfront this afternoon, to go on my ridiculous run (sometimes I wonder why I subject myself to such form of torture) I saw one of the trees on Cuba Street Mall festooned with tiny strips of colourful paper.
Being the inquisitive little person that I am, I decided to have a look and was pleasantly surprised to see that those slips of paper were what people thought was the Secret to Happiness. What a marvellous idea! I’m not sure who thought of this little project, but it’s amazing!
Now, since I so have a one-track mind, I went off to do my 45-minute run first, promising to spend more time at the tree after I do my workout and after I collect a few more easter eggs (yes, I’m focused like that). So after I huffed and puffed my way up and down Oriental Parade, I went back to work, got my bag and once I got to the “Tree of Happiness” (as I now call it), I spent some time reading what others have decided to share.
Here are some Secrets of Happiness, according to anonymous Wellingtonians:
Reading these little tidbits made my day a lot brighter. I’ve been feeling a bit off lately and perhaps, God wanted to boost my spirits, wanted to tell me that “Hey, it’s gonna be okay!” – so he made me walk down that road, made me see the tree, and made me curious enough to want to have a 2nd and closer look at everything. (I’m a Catholic, I won’t deny that. And Yes, I believe in God. In this crazy world we live in, I find peace and strength in my faith – my faith keeps me sane.)
While I was there: reading the messages and taking photos – absorbing and learning about what makes people happy I noticed that not many people stopped to have a look. Some glanced at the tree casually, some did pause to have a look at one or two strips of paper but majority of the passersby did just that – pass by as if it’s just an ordinary tree. It made me wonder, what if this tree was like one of the two trees in the Garden of Eden. But instead of not being permitted to partake of the fruit, we’re all supposed to get as much as we can. Would we take advantage of such a great gift and pick as many reasons to be happy? Or will we simply ignore what the tree has to offer, choosing to focus more on the task at hand – on what must be done, on the many trivial things that occupy our minds and steal the joy from our hearts? Are we so focused on bigger and more “serious things” that we are unable to recognise the little things that can truly make us happy?
I just hope that as I grow older, I retain my innate sense of curiosity, my ability to find wonder in every little thing, to find joy in life’s simplest pleasures.