Yesterday, in the sunny evening of a beautiful day, as the shadows were lengthening, I was walking through a garden with little Poppy.
It was the end of a long day at a theme park, and my friend's daughter was disappointed. She had trekked across the park to have a last go on her favourite ride, only to find that it was closed for the day.
"That's it," she said. "There's no point in anything any more."
All suggestions were met with the same response. No food would taste right; no activity would match up to the swing ride she had wanted to go on; there was no hope in the world!
I noticed in her a little version of what comes to us all when we are disappointed. We let the disappointment move outwards, until, quick as a flash, it has affected all aspects of our life. Nothing feels right, so nothing can be right. The happy past does not exist. The future is bleak. Poppy wouldn't even be comforted by a plan to make that ride the first one on the next visit.
"It's a year until then," she said.
"You know, the thing I like about your attitude," I said, "is that you haven't given up yet." (I guess she had given up a little, but I wanted her to see the hope that remained and believe in that!)
We all looked aroung the gift shop. As closing time arrived, with a minute to go, she hadn't found anything to cheer her up. Finally, with seconds left, her mum, held a furry polar bear up in the air in front of her.
Poppy looked at it.
You could see that she was feeling the pull of pessimism; hearing a little voice that said happiness had ended, so why should she try to find it.
But then a little smile came to the corners of her mouth.
Suddenly her posture changed, she took a deep breath, and nodded.
"That's the one!" she said, shining with a new humour and confidence.
After all the disappointment, she had caught the important lesson that there is always something happy around the corner, if we just smile and reach out a bit.