When I started writing this series, I told myself that I needed to keep it simple – not least because I have a tendency to make things over complicated. And when you’re writing about simple pleasures that can be counter-productive.
But what I’ve begun to notice is that however simple life may seem, it doesn’t take long for paradoxes, contradictions and inconsistencies to show up.
Take this week for example; on the coffee table in our living room is a little snow globe. Inside sits a cute, white rabbit. When you shake the little globe all the dainty snowflakes drift down to eventually settle on the bottom. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved snow domes, marvelling at the miniature scenes captured within and the winter wonderland you can create in a moment. Such a simple pleasure and so ingenious.
So why this week when I shook the little dome, did a queasy feeling flutter in my stomach exactly like the feeling I had in the shop, just after I’d bought it? The feeling was so strong that day that I very nearly turned around and took the little snow globe back but I told myself I was being silly and brought it home with me anyway. When I took it out of the box and placed it on the coffee table, I was pleased because it looked so sweet yet still there was that uncomfortable feeling again that refused to budge.
And if I’m being really honest, that feeling is with me every time I look at the sweet, little rabbit trapped inside, forever destined to be alone and lonely. To feel endless snowflakes fall on its little furry head and never feel the comfort of a warm hutch or the company of another rabbit friend. It’s so sad.
I have another snow dome in my office – inside on a bench in front of the Eiffel tower sit a sweet couple, snuggled up together. I’m not worried about them because I know that they will always have each other. They will always have their happy ending.
As children we like to conjure up happy endings for our stories and that is true even as adults. But as I get older, I realise that sometimes there isn’t a happy ending or perhaps there may be but I just don’t know about it yet.
That doesn’t stop me trying to make happy endings come true though.
When I gaze at my white rabbit, perhaps I can see that she’s not lonely at all. Perhaps in the night after we all go to bed she hops down an imaginary rabbit hole where Mr Rabbit and their three children are waiting for her with a tasty carrot salad. And after they’ve munched their dinner, they snuggle up together and Mrs Rabbit tells the three little rabbits all about her day. She smiles gently as she tells them how she loves her work, especially watching the people who come and go and the friendly pussy cat who sometimes peers curiously at her. But she also says she’s worried about the lady who makes the snow fall. She thinks she’s too concerned about making sure everyone is happy.
She wishes the lady would see how simply pleasurable life can be; especially when you let go of being responsible for making everyone else’s happy endings come true.