Student Blogger, Therese: Come on, Get Happy

The title is a song that has been skipping in my memory since I realized my feelings trumped my view: specifically the view of a barren, arid, desert landscape I passed through from a happy place to a place I have been in, pondering my emotions.

My get happy state was created while I was floating on the rather calm rapids with a gal pal on the Rio Grand River. We were in a discarded Coleman raft patched with fluorescent orange duct tape with a hand pump (I was certain it would be essential,) non-chemical sunscreen, and jolly spirits because we were going to cool off and experience a respite from the scorching sun.

The water level was low and slow. Our floating adventure began with being wedged onto an unseen object in the murky water that held our raft still!  Our floating follies were amplified when one of the oars became loose from the joint due to a stripped thinga- ma –jig (Thinga-ma-jigs are anything and everything that cannot be identified as a tool or object).

Paddling with a faulty thinga-ma-gig kept us in place. With squeals delight, we settled into STILLNESS, as in our raft was staying in place while the gentle river waves continued to flow past us. The effect was a 3D-stop motion picture screen, only without the aid of technology.

What could be more comical than enjoying a still life float trip with willow trees dancing on the river banks, rays of sunlight amplifying our deLIGHT? The adventure continued with many more laughs and the decision to not use the only remaining paddle, with the intention that we would go with the flow of the water and see what we would experience. This became known as the stop-motion river Oracle.  An Oracle is when the spirits relay teachings, blessings, or guidance through an object… was the Oracle the river or the stillness or both?

It was a morning filled with wonder and provocation. After using the hand pump to inflate the raft a few times, our adventure came to an end when jagged rocks appeared on the nature screen.

As I was driving home after the trip, I looked across the arid land and exclaimed to my gal pal, “This is sooooo beautiful!” Her response to me was a reminder of my earlier sentiments of how the landscape was sooo barren.  What I realized in that moment is that I felt happy, therefore I was conveying the sentiment which transformed the arid desert into beauty!

Since my River Oracle trip, I have been reflecting about how I feel affects my views, thoughts, and overall disposition.  It seems quite simple: if I want to have a different experience, I engage in some activity that invokes joy, laughter, giggles, peace, comfort, serenity, self-awareness, or any emotion I choose to create.  These activities may include sitting in still water while in a raft, eating watermelon and then rinsing with the garden hose, dancing in the rain, stepping in a mud puddle barefoot, or letting a dog lick your face-or not. Whatever makes your heart smile!  Come on, get happy!

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