I woke, about 4:45 one morning after going to bed around 11:00 pm, maybe a mere five hours is considered normal for me. Nevertheless, I woke – and on my mind was a recent conversation I had had with a close friend. Actually, only part of the conversation, we had been talking about someone who had died and the deceased finding joy. Thus, waking early, because of such elated feelings from an inspiring conversation, precipitated a need to write. Here is the result:
I believe we all have the capability of knowing joy regularly. It is all around us. At times it is hard for us to recognize, but it is always there, nonetheless. Often the complication of life hides it from us – sometimes it can be revealed in simple ways. For me, I felt the pleasure and the joy of just sharing those moments with my friend. And, I believe that although I am serious at times, that seriousness can be translated into compassion, and a passion for life, for love of life. Through this passion, this zest comes the ability to see the joy in many things. Although I don’t always exhibit that capability, I know it is there. Yes, I do recognize the joy in the fragrance of fresh clothes as they come out of the dryer, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, of baking cookies, of freshly dug earth. I can feel the joy in the wind against my face during a walk, the soothing warmth of the water during a shower (and the sense of being clean), the touch of soft skin, the comfort of being cozy under covers on a cold morning (and I woke to a cold morning), the tenderness of a hug. I can see joy in the smiles of others, in the beauty of the clouds with their endless shapes, in the shape of someone’s hand, in the gloriousness of daffodils, in the radiant moon over a sea, in the design of a building, in the art of Michelangelo. I can hear the joy in the sound of the leaves rustled by the wind, in the patter of rain against the pavement, in the chirp of birds in the early morning, in the sound of the voice of a loved one, in the resonance of laughter and, yes, even the rumble of a lawn-mower (as long as it is a block away.) There is joy in the accomplishment of a task - a small job or a large one – joy in washing a car, in vacuuming, in making spaghetti sauce, in fixing a garage door, in the completion of a Power Point presentation, of answering a complicated reference question, of guiding and mentoring staff, of completing a house painting/repair project, of seeing a product through production and into the possession of a client.
There are many joys, different ones for each of us. So, indeed, joy is all around us and with the help of that conversation, I once again had the realization. Thus, I say thank you – because there is joy in this revelation, this reawakening, and this rediscovery of the positive side of my nature. I think, and forgive this sentimentality, that is what I mostly want in life, to share in the discovery or re-discovery of joys. The trick is not to just share joy, but transmit it, transfer it. And, that can be done with whoever is near at any given moment. So, here’s to realizing joys, to the continued realization of them – the simple, the complicated. I want that legacy of joy that many have recognized so well, to live on. It does live on, because it is in each of us – I see it in my friend, the bounce of his step, his energy, his wit, his humor, his compassion – and so it can live on in all of us, from the memory of loved ones deceased, through the continued contact of all of those around us. And, it needs to be re-discovered daily – maybe easier said than done.