Do you ever wonder what Snow White and Prince Charming’s life was like after the credits rolled? And they lived happily ever after. I’ll bet that meant they never fought about who would take out the trash or who forgot to pay the water bill. Or, maybe it meant they never had any family drama to deal with. I’ll bet the seven dwarves were the epitome of peaceful siblings. Right.
Happily ever after is one of the most common and yet most commonly misperceived themes in storytelling. Every romantic comedy has the same theme. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl date. Drama temporarily separates boy and girl. Boy and girl resolve drama and get back together. They live happily ever after.
What do you think life is like after the credits roll? I think it’s a lot like yours and mine. No, really. Daily arguments about what’s for dinner, moderating sibling fights, who wants to watch what on TV, and yes, it’s really already bedtime and you have to brush your teeth, again. It’s hilltops and trenches. Extreme joy mixed in with heartbreaking tragedy. And yet where’s the happily ever after? It’s tucked in between the messes and the fights, in the cracks in the foundations where the light gets in. Happiness is right there in the middle of it all, waiting for us to notice and to grasp it.
When we’re too busy doing everyday life, we sometimes miss out on the marvelousness of the mundane. On the happily ever after right in the midst of the dirty dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, bath time, play time, kids jump-roping and running down the street laughing. The random hugs and “I love you’s” right between the smacks and the “no, that’s mine’s!” Happiness is right there all along just waiting to be noticed.
It’s the chirping of the birds when the flowers bloom in spring. The whistling of wind as the leaves turn in the fall. It’s the twinkle of a new fallen snow and warmth of the season’s first bonfire. It’s the taste of the perfect s’more, and the healing power in an accepting embrace. It’s the wiping of tears off a cheek and the smile from a lover’s eyes. It’s the presence of a friend when you’re in need and the laughter of a child that grips your soul.
Happiness is right here, right now. It is all around us, waiting to be noticed, to be seen. Like the wallflower waiting to be asked to dance, it wants us to reach out our hands and seize it.
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Copyright © 2016 Katherine J. Wheeler. All rights reserved.