Monday, February 1, 2010



Today I had a great time of joy in my life. My two-year old granddaughter and her daddy came to visit and Matilda (Miranda) spent most of the time with her ever present smile on her face, exploring my house, the piano, all the doors and where they led , throwing every pillow on the floor, etc.

She finally came to sit on my lap and watch a little TV. What a joy to play with my fingers through her golden hair and to write on her back. She sat so still. She loved it. My son smiled as he remembered I always used to do that to him when he was little. What utter joy as I felt her weight on my lap and her straight little back in front of me.

Pure joy. What is it and where do we find it? How often do we truly experience joy? If one thinks about it, one can find certain occasions when we have felt really joyous. I can think of a few offhand. When the family is on the way to the lake in the summer and you can hardly wait for that first glimpse of the water as you round the curve and then you are there and you run down to the dock and say hello to the lake and feel pure joy at being there.

When Julie had to wear her scoliosis brace all through jr. hi and high school, it was so painful at first and she had to wear it 23 out of 24 hours. And I talked to her and told her to keep going and doing things as much as she could. That I had had a student that just let the kids carry her books for her and all she did was sit and get whiter and whiter. We went to a Christmas program at the junior high one night and she was in a skit. There was a pause for the longest time when it was over. She came running into the gym from the hall, noticed the awkward silence, smiled widely and to everyone’s delight yelled “Merry Christmas” all the way to her seat in the band. They had to wait for her trombone! I knew then she would make it and she had made up her mind and did it all herself. That was joy..

When I was young and madly in love with my college sweetheart who had gone back to New York for the summer and returned in September—that night when he came to my house I was living in where I was teaching—that was joy.

When Bill finally got a position here in Green Bay after a two year separation, he in Iowa and the two youngest boys and me in Michigan—that was joy. You should hear my son tell about his reaction!

There is a difference in being happy generally speaking and having certain events stand out as being joyous. The first year we were married, Bill taught 100 miles away from me and came home every week-end. That was happiness. Honeymoon prolonged into a whole school year.

So what is your joy? Do you think of joyous moments when you are down? Do you find that you can think of a lot of them –small and big moments that you had forgotten?

Hold them close to your heart.


Bernie said...

Oh Bernie this post is lovely. I find joy in simple things of every day life......happiness is a given for me, I choose to be happy and there are very few times anyone will see me without a smile on my is good.
I used to draw on my children's back when they were little, we would make a game of it and they would try to guess what I drew, I would always say they guessed right just to hear them laugh.
So happy you had Matilda visit you, ah there is nothing better than a hug from a child.
..........:-) Hugs

Von said...

Lovely post Bernie,thank you for sharing your joy.
Mine comes in large and small ways.I try to leave myself open to it every day..the full moon in a pink sky,newly hatched pigeon chicks, my Daughter's voice on the phone, on and on it goes and I'm there alert to receive it and be thankful.

MissKris said...

Life's simple pleasures are so very definitely the best! It talks in the scriptures about being content in all things and I try to live that way every day. I am blessed to have my two little grandsons with me every weekday and I often find myself finding joy thru their eyes and the things they experience. If we could all go back to that time in life where EVERYTHING was full of wonder and joy!

Ladybird World Mother said...

Isnt joy the best!! I often stop,in moments of happiness, to dwell and enjoy the joy... picnics at the moment when the picnic is becoming a memory, as everyone is having fun and the day is unfolding joyously. Dinner parties, when the convesation and the company are too good to be true. Small hands holding mine on the way to school. Cat on my lap in the evening, fire blazing and Husband by my side.
Reunions. Honeymoon. Watching Husband in the Village Pantomime!
thanks for reminding me of the things I need to give thanks for. xxxx

Wanda said...

I could feel your joy in watching your grandchild Bernie.
Most of my joy involves my children or grandchildren, moments of shared appreciation. I also get a feeling of joy, while standing alone deep in the woods while listening to the stillness there!

Wander to the Wayside said...

When my daughter was about three years old, she developed what was called Acute Cerabellum Ataxia, caused by a virus in her spinal fluid. It began with huge headaches, and, basically, she was palsied from head to toe to the point that we had to feed her and hold her up on a toilet because she was so palsied, and couldn't walk. They didn't know how long it would last. Several weeks into it, I was painting the kitchen and she was off to the side doing something. All of a sudden she stood up and wobbled to me, threw her arms around my neck and said 'mommy, I CAN walk again, I CAN walk again!'.

THAT was joy.

Deb Shucka said...

Your stories make me feel your joy. The thing I know about joy is that it surprises me in moments when I least expect it, and it's always connected to relationship with other people, nature, God.

Barb said...

I could feel your joy over your small Granddaughter, Bernie - it's a joy I've also felt. Pure and with no expectation beyond the moment. I think you've given me a prescription for joy - an easy medicine to swallow! Lovely and wise post.

June said...

Wonderful thoughts to keep in mind.
I think the most joyful moments I have known have followed times of pain that I thought would be unendurable.
It is the valley that makes the mountain high.

Oz Girl said...

What a delightful post! My most recent experiences with deep joy were when my husband and I first met face to face in 2007. When we took him to the airport to fly home, it about broke our hearts, but when he returned a month later to visit me, I was so happy I think my heart flew ahead of me to the airport! :)

lakeviewer said...

Bernie, this is a joy to read, heartwarming and genuine. Thanks for visiting me.

Anita said...

Loved reading your list of joyous times. I imagined the feeling as I read each thing you spoke about and it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Joy is seeing my husband laugh hysterically, or my children skipping because they're happy and not having a care in the world. Joy is taking a walk, breathing in the fresh air and looking at nature.
Joy is a good meal - yum! So many things... Thanks for reminding me to appreciate all the little things today!

June said...

Hi Bernie...
I noted your message that you had to go back and read earlier posts to understand my Fehlleistung post.
This morning there's an explanatory piece that will give you some background.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Dead silences still bother me. Just figured I'd fill the space.

Joy - I am troubled by those who never seem to find it. Seems such a waste of time not to seek it.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

What, no other men followers! Lovely positive blog.

♥ Braja said...

Bernie, sometimes there is so much joy in my life I don't have time to think of all the's nice to take that time and mull over all the wonderful things that happen....

Happy Frog and I said...

What a lovely post and blog. So glad Blogs of Note pointed me in your direction. :-)

Music, laughter, friends, sunshine, love, creativity, understanding; all of these things bring me joy as well as happiness.

Colleen said...

Such a beautiful post and a wonderful reminder to enjoy and cherish life. I think that joy so often comes from the most unexpected surprises you.
Joy is so simple, pure, and fragile.
It's a gift from God when we experience it, isn't it? Thank you for this inspiring post.
Have a lovely day,
(I discovered your blog through blogs of note by the way and I'm glad I did.:)


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