HappinessThere's just no accounting for happiness, or the way it turns up like a prodigalwho comes back to the dust at your feethaving squandered a fortune far away. And how can you not forgive?You make a feast in honor of whatwas lost, and take from its place the finestgarment, which you saved for an occasionyou could not imagine, and you weep night and dayto know that you were not abandoned, that happiness saved its most extreme formfor you alone. No, happiness is the uncle you neverknew about, who flies a single-engine planeonto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikesinto town, and inquires at every dooruntil he finds you asleep midafternoonas you so often are during the unmercifulhours of your despair. It comes to the monk in his cell. It comes to the woman sweeping the streetwith a birch broom, to the childwhose mother has passed out from drink. It comes to the lover, to the dog chewinga sock, to the pusher, to the basket maker, and to the clerk stacking cans of carrotsin the night. It even comes to the boulderin the perpetual shade of pine barrens, to rain falling on the open sea, to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.
I never saw quite so wretched an example of what a sea-faring life can do: but to a degree, I know it is the same with them all; they are all knocked about, and exposed to every climate, and every weather, till they are not fit to be seen. It is a pity they are not knocked on the head at once, before they reach Admiral Baldwin's age.