Glad is not a word we use very often. We are more inclined to use the word "happy," a perfectly good word and one I use frequently. The word "glad," however, seems slightly old-fashioned or perhaps it is not as exuberant a word as "happy." Does it feel more restrained, bringing less attention to one's good fortune? "I'm glad" vs "I'm happy." It does seem different doesn't it?
The word "glad," however, reminds me of gladiolas, and I happen to love gladiolas. Some people associate glads with funeral flowers, especially country church funerals. Others think they are too showy, too big for a reasonable bouquet in the house. The stalks are thick and you need a really large vase to display them properly. So what? I love the range of colors ready to match any decor or mood -- cloud white, "I'm not shy" peaches and purples, and yellows the color of a soft rose or a leaf just beginning to become gold. Glads aren't afraid of their own abundance and enthusiasm. They make me glad.
When we lived at Sweetwater Farm, I drove into the country to an Amish farm stand and bought a bouquet of glads every week in the summertime. The young man who ran the stand knew what I liked and always had a healthy bunch waiting for me. They proclaimed summer days on our eating area's long harvest table. In Madison I brought home a bouquet from the farmers market each Saturday morning to add a colorful touch to our front porch, reminding me of the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York, one of my soul places, where it seemed glads on the front porches were almost a requirement.
Now in our St Paul home, which we lovingly call "the little house," there is still room for glads. The scale may be off, but the same large vase we have used for years sits on top of a round table in our entry way, and glads or when glads aren't available, other fresh flowers, always fill the space, lifting our hearts, welcoming us, along with friends and family, home. There is gladness in this house.
What makes you glad? What reminds you of the gladness in your life? And how can you add more gladness to each of your days? I would love to know.