Happy Hour: The Extended Version


I am at my sister’s cottage on the shore of Lake Huron with a friend and this morning I cooked bacon and eggs and baked beans and we had coffee and ate breakfast on the patio with a vista of Lake Huron sparkling like a field of diamonds under the sun. The lake and the sky were the same colour of blue and the sumach along the cliffs are the green and red polka-dotted seam that separates them. I wonder what would happen if the sky and the water forgot that they were not the same thing and they blended into a horizon-free existence. It’s not like the two are fighting and need to be separated, but what if that actually happened. Would there be chaos or celebration? What difference would it really make anyway? Sometimes I feel that words and measurements have trapped me into thinking about existence in fruitless ways. Toot too, the musical fruit.

We drove to Bayfield and walked around admiring and evaluating the plants and trees along the trail that a leisurely walk presents. We would try to identify the plants and award bonus points for knowing the botanical name. I still think Red Hot Poker is a funny name for a plant.  There, I just set the stage.  I walked by a chalkboard sign outside some sort of shop and they had written, as if it was a slogan, “We Do Both”.  I made a sex joke and giggled to myself for quite a while afterwards.  I remember at some point, during a day that was so unstaged, that was just being the day it was, and it was all set up so perfectly for me, that I told my friend he was such a weed-whacker. It was that kind of day. The jubilant boy in me was having a jamboree. We stopped at a sweet little cafe called the ArtSee and had lattes and dessert. My friend ordered the lemon sorbet and I had raspberry gelato.  If you mix them together the raspberry overpowers the lemon but the flavour of lemon lasts longer.  Well, I guess I was wrong, I do “do both” . And I just said “do do” so now I am giggling again. Sometimes I think that I am living a life where I have entered into too many contracts.  Service providers, myself.  What if we broke all the contracts we have entered into? Would that be liberation? The fruit of life. The more I eat, the more I toot.

Afterwards, we went to the beach at Black’s Point and sat in the dappled sun.  My friend read the news and did the crossword puzzle and I had a pear cider  and my journal and was feeling prepared. I went swimming in the lake in my underoos.   My first swim of the year in freshwater. The water was chilly but it warmed up to me. I swam out far and stayed in long. Yes, I did both.  I did somersaults in the water, dolphin flips in the air and then roosted on a rock part way out into the lake, nature’s Lay-Z-Boy, I reclined and felt the bliss that I feel when I am at the beach. The sun. The water. The waves. The sounds. The smells. There is nothing more sensual than nature.  I didn’t realize until then that I am in a happy place, or rather, I didn’t realize until then that  I had forgotten this part of me, the beach is my happy place and moreover, it is one of many happy places.  I reclined and let it all wash over me in gentle waves.

I went for a walk along the sandy shores and thought a lot about my best friend and dog, Otis and thought about how amazing his personality was. How smart he was.  How sensitive. Stubborn too.  He wanted so much to be a human.  He wanted so much to be me. He succeeded, I was my best me when I had my dog Otis.  I think that was the happiest me. All that all of this is about now, is me rebuilding the happiest me. Rediscovering maybe?  I walked a bit further along the beach and stopped and looked out at the field of diamonds and felt  the warmth of the sun and listened to the sound of the waves. It didn’t take long before I starting to think about a lot of other things in my life, all the works in progress and all the chapters that are finished and the uncertainty of what is yet to be.  The scrap metal. The burned bridges. All the phoenixes and all of the ashes.  I started to cry a few tears and I could feel a strong tug at my heart. I thought for a moment that I was crying because I was sad.

I thought again for another moment and thought differently.  I am happy. These tears are tears of joy.

21 thoughts on “Happy Hour: The Extended Version

  1. A very beautiful feeling…those tears of joy! I was walking, swimming, lounging and tumbling with you my friend ♡ This is the energy that we are all meant to live in…to revel in! Yes, it kind of sneaks up on you when you least expect it…and I couldn’t be happuer, Harlon!! Remember where this is…for it lives inside you my friend ♡♡

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  2. Harlon , I so much enjoyed reading this and could see the joy of you swimming in Lake Huron …you gave me smiles on a morning of sad wondering , so thankyou for your blessing of You ….love , megxxx

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    • Thanks Meg, I can’t think of a more meaningful response than that of altering the course of a morning of sad wondering towards joy. And now the doubts of the day that were starting to develop have lifted for me, so thank you for the blessing of you. With love, Harlon

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  3. So beautiful! And fun! I felt like a kid again, reading this.I felt the spirit of Otis with you. That spirit and memory will always be with you. I love the photo with the diamonds in the water seeming an extension of the trees. I love the thought of water and sky blending, like a splashes, and mist, and rain. I’m so glad you got to experience this, and that you shared this experience with us!

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    • Thank you Joanne, I don’t think I can think of a better outcome than you having fun and feeling like a kid again. It was very much that kind of day; fun and playful. I think I lemon sorbet and raspberry gelato should be in its own food group 🙂 Harlon

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  4. What a wonderfully uplifting article Harlon, and so beautifully written too. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed such a perfect day, and may there be many more for you. Otis was clearly very close to you, and I do so think that a dog truly is a (wo)man’s best friend. Few are the human animals who can provide such a constant supply of affection and devotion, all of which brings out the best in us and shows our better nature to ourselves.

    Peace, Hariod.

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  5. Jamboree… now there’s a word missing from my vocabulary for years! Celebrate the light dear friend and let’s talk when you’re back! I’m just about back in my body after the sojourn to HOTlanta!

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    • Lynnclaire, there is so much about you that I fancy. I love your mathematical mind and I adore how you picked up on jamboree. That was the last word I added to the posting, and when it came to mind I thought a very similar thought to yourself; there’s a word that’s gone missing. Looking forward to connecting with you – not that I don’t feel connected with you already. Peace, Harlon


    • I think you may be right, I think there is an overlap between melancholy, nostalgic and happiness. And if you don’t mind me saying, I thought of you during moments of my walk. Our connection is meaningful to me and you are a part of the walk. Peace, Harlon

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      • I don’t mind at all, Harlon. I am inspired by this actually. Our connection is meaningful to me as well, and knowing of it, and how it has come into being, brings home to me something that is very important. That is the awareness that connection arises across any distance and time in ways most appropriate to the expansion of life. That so recently we didn’t know one another existed, and that now we would be alive in one another’s thoughts, in the gestalt of influences that move us forward in our own lives, feels like the holiest of holies. I didn’t have to go out and scream from the roof to bring about this miracle… just had to write and say what I feel… Truly, the silent spaces of our hearts are more powerful than we give them credit for being, and I thank you for this moment which brings this home to me.

        Keep on keepin’ on, my friend.

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  6. This brought back a few memories for me. Driving up to Bayfield to meet a new friend, walking on the beach, sitting on the dock in the evening with a bottle of wine, watching the fog come towards us. Thank you, I really enjoyed reading this.

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