Judging from my annual holiday letter, a tradition I started at the turn of the century, a friend of mine who was used to my big smiles and my consistently happy chirpy self once commented on how I become nostalgic around the holidays.
Many of you reading my posts the past few months are probably thinking that nostalgia has overtaken me.
It's just that for me, nostalgia is an expression of happiness, deep internal happiness. Going places in my mind that elicited emotions and left memories and trying to put these in words and images were a source of happiness for me as far as I can remember.
Pope Francis, a person I have utmost respect and admiration for, said it beautifully in his speech about happiness a few years ago (Read it if you can)*:
"Being happy is not only to treasure the smile, but that you also reflect on the sadness...
It is not only to cross the deserts outside of ourselves, but still more, to be able to find an oasis in the recesses of our soul.
It is to thank God every morning for the miracle of life."
I am reminded of a sentence I jotted down on a piece of paper years ago "Beaucoup moins gaie et beaucoup plus heureuse." Stendhal, Le Rouge et le Noir.
Happiness comes in all sorts of shapes and colors. Find what makes you happy.