Melanie felt that she was tired of getting flowers and turtles from her paramour so she sent him a letter asking him to be more creative. She never knew if he received the letter but he did stop sending her flowers and turtles. Instead, she received snails and pine cones. These were slightly more interesting than before but still she was uninspired. So she sent another letter. Melanie stopped receiving gifts after that, so she found a new paramour. Melanie fell in love with a butterfly and she followed him as he wandered. She saw the world in her wanderings but still she felt all alone. Not only was she not receiving gifts, she was not receiving any attention or affection. She was really following and not participating. She was alone. Was it because she had asked for too much? Or because she was chasing rather than gathering her dreams? After some thought, Melanie left her butterfly. It so happened that they were in Canada at the time, so she stayed and ate maple syrup, with pancakes of course. Then she rode a moose which was quite the experience, as she had never done that before and she promptly fell off. Melanie almost hit her head but she didn't. When she picked herself up, as the moose ran away, she brushed off her skirt and, to her surprise, found bright gold flakes all over her. As she looked around in wonder, Melanie saw gold glimmers everywhere. Imagine that - gold, in Canada! But Melanie knew it wasn't gold she wanted, so as she walked back home, she told the inhabitants of the nearest village about the gold, of which they were pleased to learn. Melanie kept walking looking for her own happiness. But it is difficult to find something if you don't know even some about the thing. Melanie sat down by a small pond and thought. As she thought she saw a turtle basking in the sun. He looked happy so Melanie asked him if, indeed, he was. The turtle smiled and then plopped into the water where he blew many bubbles through his nose. Melanie laughed. And then she stopped. She realized that was the first time she had laughed spontaneously by herself in a long time. Melanie thought and thought and thought. The sun turned pink and set, and it rose, and it set. Melanie thought of her old paramour, of the butterfly, the moose, and the turtle. And she thought of herself and maple syrup and the sun. Then she found happiness. It was, of course, there all the time, but she never had the courage to see it. But when she stopped being afraid and let happiness live inside her, she didn't need to find it anymore.
The view from my hotel room