Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blue Bird of Happiness

And so remember this, life is no abyss,
Somewhere there's a bluebird of happiness.

The bluebird of happiness has a history that goes back maybe thousands of years. Cultures around the world hold on to the myths and beliefs about the bluebird. It is a symbol of cheerfulness, happiness, prosperity, good health and the renewal of springtime.

If retail sales are any indication, perhaps the most popular bluebird of happiness in this country was created by Leo Ward at Terra Studios located near Fayetteville, Arkansas. Introduced in 1982, this Arkansas Bluebird of Happiness is made of blown glass with black copper oxide added to create its blue color. This Bluebird of Happiness is a registered trademark and is sold at thousands of hospital, airport and specialty gift shops nationwide. This little glass bird has fueled the creativity of many artists in northwest Arkansas. But larger still is the impact of the goodwill it has generated. Over nine million of these bluebirds have been sold!

Leo Ward has since retired but the bluebird business lives on and is managed by his son John. You can’t help thinking the little bluebird has come to mean so much to so many through simple acts of a thoughtful, albeit modest, gifts and accompanying wishes for happiness. After all, it’s not the gift but the thought that counts. Still the gift, as is rests on a desk or window sill or bookcase catches the light and reflects its blue color and maybe triggers happy thoughts of loved ones. Isn’t that a big reason to be happy?

The bluebird reminds us that Spring is coming too, and with it comes longer days, blossoming flowers and the special smell of optimism. Sure, things could be 'easier' but why not use this time of renewal as an opportunity to be in the pursuit of happiness. This Spring, take the time to find the joy in the ordinary. In other words, seek to find happiness.

Mark Twain once defined an optimist as a person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness. If that’s true, maybe a little thing like a glass bluebird is just the thing to bring a smile, a whole new outlook and hope for the future. Here’s wishing you much happiness!