There is an old Hungarian saying which goes like this;
"Before you have a chance to look around, the picnic is over."
At my picnic, the food has already been served and consumed. The leftovers, spills, and crumbs cleaned up, and I have settled with my back against an old tree, glass of port in hand, to savour the memory of roads travelled, and to simply enjoy "being" in the space that surrounds me.
As I look around my world I find constant reminders that, when it comes to happiness, it is certainly a matter of "different strokes for different folks."
I have previously provided a glowing report of my favourite traditional old-fashioned Aussie breakfast joint in Cairns.
A place where, once a week, Mrs GOF and I pause in our work travels at 5 am to enjoy food and conviviality.
Each time we visit, there is the same group of taxi drivers also refuelling after their night shift. Among them, one looks like Clive James. Another Keith Richards. And then there's Steve Martin. They are all somewhere around my age, and, to phrase it politely, all very large gentlemen. They chain smoke while enjoying large helpings of greasy bacon and eggs washed down with bottomless cups of coffee. I presume they are in attendance most days of the week.
Some of their conversation involves sharing graphic updates of their current health problems, ailments, and treatments.
I choose to write about them because this group of men, regardless of the topic of conversation, exude happiness in bucketloads. Their laughter and good humour infects all patrons within earshot. They are content in their own skins, and find comfort, companionship and cameraderie with their contemporaries by sharing a common gender and occupation.
Perhaps in a way I envy them, yet I know their lifestyle is not for me. I derive equal happiness and contentment from "aloneness" and my own company and solitary occupation.
So…..long live my taxi driver "friends".
You have each, unknowingly, contributed in a small way to my wonderful picnic.