Monday, February 1, 2010
WHAT IS JOY?
WHAT IS JOY?
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.