The onrush of scenery
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” ― Sylvia Plath
It’s difficult to read this quote from Plath without thinking of the sad reality that she chose to end her own life while still young, with two small children. Yet I find hope here in realizing that even a person given to fatal depths of melancholia was not completely beyond the reach of happiness.
One thing that helps me in moments of despair is the realization that “this too shall pass.” When everything seems to be going wrong, or when we are feeling sad or distressed (even if it’s for no particular reason) it’s easy to think we can never be happy again. But when our emotions tell us our sorrow is permanent, our minds can argue back.
Yes, we can and will be happy again. Yes, there will even be moments of elation, such as Plath describes. We know this because we can look into our memories and find both joy and sorrow there.
I think we all have had times when we felt a similar rush of joy. What are some of those moments for you? Can you think of a place you’ve stood and marveled at the sights spread out before you? Or a time when you thought “right now, everything feels almost perfect?” I hope you have many such gems to remember, and I hope that this year will bring you more of them.
One year ago today