Yesterday, as the sun waned but evening still seemed a mystery of the future, I pulled baby eggplant and perfectly sized (thank heavens I didn’t check a day/minute/second later) zucchini from the garden, and filled a mixing bowl with warm basil leaves that torn, filled the air around me with their peppery fragrance. I took them into the kitchen, and the Olympics on in the family room, the baby around in just a diaper and pink cheeks from an afternoon in the water, the children lazy on the sectional and content, I washed the basil, made pesto, sliced the vegetables, rolled out a floury pizza dough against the cold countertop, and called life good.
I think the prophet told us to plant gardens because he wanted us to be happy. And I wonder, mid-summer, if anything is as satisfying as this—a simple dinner plucked and harvested from a small garden.
A while ago, I sat back against the rush in a chair, across a dinner table laden with empty dishes from two cute boys (technically men, but they’ll always be boys to me) in identical chairs as mine, but with eyes heavy as their hearts. They were watching our children and lamenting their lot: that they wouldn’t ever have a legacy of their own. That, though they were in love with one another and though they felt committed, their lifestyle didn’t leave room for posterity— in other words, they could adopt lap dogs to spoil but they could never have children. At least logistically. One boy/man said something to me with shark eyes, black and round: “It’s a selfish lifestyle for me, and at the end of the day I know I will be alone.”
I thought instantly of The Family A Proclamation to the World where marriage between a man and a woman is delineated and I had a prick of something in that moment as I stared at them: larger (or smaller) than the argument of homosexuality being an abomination, maybe as a practical application we are counseled against those feelings of same-gender attraction because living them can never make us happy.
Could it be as simple as this? I know that keeping commandments and covenants, we are promised happiness in the hereafter, but truthfully, I am grateful for the daily happiness that sits with me simply by doing what I should be doing, when I should be doing it.
Do you have any experiences of immediate happiness from following a prophet’s counsel?