I have a distinct memory of my happiest day. I remember feeling full, brimming over with so much of something wonderful that I imagined I could lift up into the sky. It was a lightness, a buoyancy, so powerful that I imagined my soul (which I then believed to be separate from the self) had played a trick on gravity and now tread air hundreds of miles above me.
The next day, I was scared, because what if I never felt that way again and what if we all are allotted only one hour of happiness in our lifetimes and I’d spent mine all already at only age thirteen. I’ve had that worry brewing in the back of my head ever since, but then I came here and I saw these stars, these magnificent stars, and I began to converse with these kind and brilliant strangers and take walks and have talks with them until they no longer were strangers, and I sunk my hands and knees into the dirt on Garden Hill and felt winter turn over to spring; I heard the sound of trees falling and nestling into the snow, I chopped a hundred parsnips and poured soil out from my boots, and I smiled smiled smiled until I knew for certain I was happy, until I knew I was wholeheartedly happy with no second guessing.
And I hope that that will help when I am leaving here because I will know that happiness doesn’t just run out and that it is everywhere, in stars and strangers and trees and parsnips, and we are given infinite opportunities to experience it, not just a day or mere hour.