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Life’s secrets, according to you…

People of the world, tell me this — what’s one simple, magical thing 
that makes you smile every time you experience it?

Woman smiling

It’s a wonder how much time and energy we spend chasing happiness when really, if we stood still for a moment and absorbed the ordinary, everyday moments, we’d realize that we already have it all. It reminds me of a quote from William Martin: “Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.” This is what I hope to teach my children.

Here forthwith are your responses to the simple, magical things that make you smile.

  • A simple magical thing that makes me smile every day is the smell of the outdoors.
  • This is really silly, but every time my beau calls me by my pet name it makes me smile. It’s a word that he made up, and when he says it in his French accent, I giggle every time.
  • Dinner together as a family.
  • Waking up and seeing my wife sleeping next to me.
  • My kids laughing together.
  • The smell of fresh morning air.
  • Watching someone trip and fall, slip on ice or miss a chair as they sit down.
  • The sound of my grandson’s laughter.
  • Watching my daughter discover something new for the first time. Her naiveté reminds me that we were all once so innocent and pure.
  • Being at the family farm, staring out onto the prairie. Sometimes it’s nice to feel, see and experience the grandeur of the world.
  • A hug or a kiss from my little people.
  • Walking into Starbucks — the smell of a good, strong coffee!
  • The sounds and the hilarious subject content of my young daughters being deep in conversation with each other.
  • The random chatter of my three-year-old daughter and her lack of volume control.
  • Puppy cuddles.
  • A baby’s laughter.
  • Music.
  • Driving my scooter.
  • When I think about our childhood trips to Disneyland.
  • A dog running excitedly, as fast as he can to get to you.
  • Newborn babies… human or animal. Life is magical.
  • Unexpected kindness.
  • Hearing my daughter sing… her voice brings on the happy tears.
  • Hearing my husband laugh.
  • The smell of freshly mowed grass, and watching and smelling a harvest scene.
  • Old songs from the ’70s that remind me of being a child growing up and playing outside. Music was in my house ALL the time. While we played outside, my parents would play music in the house and it would flow out into the street. Paul McCartney and Wings fill a small void in my heart for warmth and comfort of what home feels like. I love that feeling!
  • Jumping into a lake or pool. It’s like my problems disappear and nothing can get me. It just makes my whole entire body feel calm. If I could live under water, I would!
  • Hugs and snuggles from my boys!
  • I am ecstatic every year when I see my first perennial poking up through the dirt in the spring. New life… and it lived through our Prairie winter! Amazing.
  • A cold beer after manual labour.
  • Well my first one would be seeing my kids’ eyes light up as they race to give me hugs when I pick them up from daycare. But another magical thing for me is waking up early on a warm summer day, and going out on the deck at the cottage… feeling the sun beat down and watching the hills and trees reflect off the calm and crystal-clear lake. We are so busy in life that these moments of just taking it all in are important to me.
  • Hearing: “I yaaaa you, Mom!” Translation: “I love you, Mom!”
  • Looking at my children while they’re sleeping.
  • Hugs from my grandchildren.
  • Hearing my dinner party guests chatter away and laugh a lot!
  • Petrichor. This makes me smile, and so does having a word for it.
  • I love those times when you wake up in the morning and as you’re getting your bearings straight, you realize that today is going to be great. You remember that you’re on vacation, or that you’re out at the lake and you can smell the fresh air (and likely see all the empty wine bottles littered nearby).
  • I smile, involuntarily, once I get back up to speed after I’ve tightened my Rollerblades. No kidding. I also smile whenever I send an email.
  • The smell of a horse. Pure, simple, natural.
  • When my kids or spouse smile, it gets me every time.
  • The solitude of the forest.
  • Hugs. From anyone. The world needs more hugs.
  • Looking at the sky. Whether it’s a sunrise, sunset, storm clouds, rainbows, sun dogs, open blue skies or puffy clouds… the sky always amazes me.
  • The sound of opening a beer can.
  • The sounds of brothers and sisters laughing and being goofy… it reminds me of my own childhood.
  • The smell of the soil the first time we tip it over in the spring. That is the essence of life.
  • How excited our grandchildren are when they come up to our door. They are all still full of hugs and kisses, and are excited to see us. The little one is just squirming to get up the steps and into the house.
  • Anyone of any age, laughing with their entire body and soul. The kind where they are out of control and are completely letting everything loose, including but not limited to bodily fluids, muscle control and anything else on their mind. That’s why we enjoy the sound of children laughing, because kids don’t hold themselves back — they don’t know how to pretend yet. If it’s funny, it’s funny.
  • When I smile at someone and they smile back.
  • When my favourite song is on the radio.
  • Summer. It is a magical time when Mom doesn’t work, Dad takes four weeks off and we get out of town. No schedules or meetings or hockey practice. NO RUSHING!
  • Smelling the salty air near the ocean. The ocean is my happy place.
  • Butterflies in my stomach! After a few years of marriage (not that I think that’s long), I am still head over heels in love with my man.
  • Watching my kids make snow angels.
  • When I tell my son that one day he will be too big and he won’t want to give me hugs anymore, having him say that he will NEVER stop hugging me.
  • Seeing a little kid’s face after they bite into a lemon slice.
  • When a baby wraps their hand around your finger… that, and their amazing baby smell.

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