Searching for happiness

On a splendid morning, tired of living, bored with the daily routine, I left in search of happiness.

As I was walking I saw the red glare of the poppies in the fields, the whiteness of the daisies, the deep blue of the lilies on the slopes. I gathered them in a bouquet, but the intense heat dried and withered them instantly. “Happiness cannot be this”, I told myself.

Further on, I walked into the forest and saw the rays of sun tearing apart the darkness. I ran towards the sunlight to bathe in it. But as soon as I arrived, a cloud crossed the sky and extinguished the light I wanted to embrace. “This cannot be happiness, either”, I said to myself.

I heard the murmur of a brook. There, lying on a bench by the brook bank, I saw a cello in its case. I attempted to pull up a beautiful melody, but the cello just emitted a noise similar to a sob. “Neither this can be happiness”, I thought.

Tired of living, bored with the daily routine, I went back home empty-handed. On the following day, I was on the trail again.

As soon as I walked a few steps, I saw a girl crying by the trail. I picked up a red poppy, a white daisy and blue lily and offered them to her to console her.

A bit further on, I saw and old man shivering with cold at the entrance of the forest. I gathered the rays of sun in my hands and gave them to him so that he could warm up.

Finally, sitting by the brook, I saw a young man singing. I took the cello and started to play to accompany his song.

The smile on the girl’s face, the warmth in the old man’s body and the melody of the young man were to me like perfume, peace and joy on the arms of a newly discovered happiness.

(Patxi Ezkiaga, Basque poet)

Translated by Mertxe de Renobales Scheifler