The Little Book Of Happiness - Foreword

For that one special friend, 
who didn’t know they were a hobbit 
until they mysteriously became one. 


Merriment? Jollity? Cheerfulness? Gaiety? It is not really important how one chooses to call it or spell out 'hobbit happiness'.To quote one of the greatest hobbits bards of our time - Rufus Proudmore - when asked to spell any nice feeling or emotion , "You don't spell it, you just feel it." 

In truth, the way to spell or pronounce ‘hobbit happiness; it’s the easy bit. Explaining what it is, that’s the difficult part. Hobbit happiness can be defined as many things, from ‘ the art of creating the perfect pie’ to the ‘coziness of a hobbit home’  and ‘lack of any dangerous adventure’ to ‘a well stocked pantry‘ from ‘hobbitness togetherness’ to my personal favorite, ‘hot tea and a cuddle by the fireplace’.

Hobbit happiness is about a ‘feel’ and an ‘experience’ rather than about ‘things’ It is being with the people we love. A feeling of a  ‘hobbity home’. A feeling that we are safe, that we are protected from the outside world and we can be allowed to relax. So we can have long discussions about the small little things in life, like mathoms, or the huge wart on Lobelia’s nose -- or just be comfortable in one another silence - or  just simply be all alone and enjoy the best cup of tea you ever had. 

I remember that time, just before Yule. I was spending sometime with friends at an old cabin in a beautiful forest. The shortest day of the year in the brightness of a soft blanket of snow covering the surrounding landscape. When the sun set very early in the afternoon, we would not see it again for many long hours, so we lit the fire. After a long day of walking in the woods we were all tired, and already half asleep, sitting on a rug around the fireplace in the cabin, wearing big wooly jumpers and fluffy  woolen socks *. The only sound we could hear was a snow storm outside, and the kettle of water bubbling away, and the sparks  from the fire, someone having a sip of tea and munching on a biscuit. Then one friend broke the silence.

“This is how hobbit happiness feels….right? " he asked rhetorically.

We all smiled and nodded. 

How can simple things like gentle lazy days and eating delicious food with friends make you considerably happier? What is the secret of hobbit happiness ? And how can we carry the burden of our own 'ring of power' without becoming consumed by it? The Little Book of Happiness holds the answers to these questions, and it reminds us that less can be more and small can be beautiful.


Photo taken by me in Hobbiton, New Zealand - edited and painted in Photoshop

* Dispelling a myth : hobbits love to keep their feet warm in winter, so they are no strangers to hand knitted socks.