What would make you smile?

I wonder, what would make you smile?

Is it specific people, places or ideas? Or everything and anything depending on the when and how? What we bring to the moment as well as what the moment holds.

These are some of the things that made me smile as I walked up the green path in the drifting sunshine yesterday afternoon:

A squirrel’s daring leap between trees high above the track.

How the brilliant yellow ragwort attracted the butterflies, including a stunning red and purple peacock.

The three amigos. Our young males in the field on their own, always hoping that they’ll be let out to be with the others, or at least fed. Please.

Sunlight dancing on the wind-blown ripples on the lake, creating shimmering fairy lights that can’t keep still.

Bright green and eager, the bramble shoots stretching across the path with daily growth spurts. Hoping to get a foothold, or at least trip us up.

A beautiful adolescent fox sauntering along the path, simply being here with the familiarity of home.

The play of light on the fleshy, green honeysuckle leaves creating patterns that change with the clouds.

Sounds of water tumbling across the stones in the brook, laughing as it plays.  

The thought of a friend having a week off on a canal boat with her family.

Being alive, here and now.

And it all started with noticing this extraordinary hazelnut, the first ever on our purple corkscrew hazel.

Smiling lights us up, and we don’t even need anyone else to see.


Gideon Heugh’s poem You always makes me smile. An inward smile of recognition and relief that I cannot repress.

And when I think of you reading this, maybe for the umpteenth time, I smile too.

I hope it does the same for you.


You are a wild and gleeful thing,
nudged by lavish grace
towards all the astonishments,
and nothing can stop it
or you.

You are not a mistake.  
The earth aches for your singular life,
for the miracle radiance
of purely, specifically you.

The shakings and the dark noises
of a man-made world
cannot compete with your hallelujah blood,
your hosanna spirit,
or with the gentle fury of hope.

+ Gideon Heugh, from Devastating Beauty