This is about joy.
Not the – it’s Christmas morning, and Santa came last night, and you’re sure you’re getting what you want this year – kind of joy. Not the – your favorite football team just won their big game, and you saw the whole thing from the fifty yard line (with a beer and a hotdog!) – kind of joy. Not even the – I just had a nice massage, and then my lover made me dinner – sort of joy.
This is about joy that you have learned the hard way to pay attention to. It’s the small stuff that you have to dig a bit in unyielding and rocky soil to uncover. And when you finally get your fingers on it -– it’s tarnished and maybe even dented or cracked, but it’s basically whole and more importantly, it’s actually there – in the palm of your hand.
This is about acknowledging that bad things happen, have happened and may come again, and that taking stock in what is precious in this moment is the way to find hope.
Last February, my son had a relapse with cancer; today he is whole and vibrant and in remission. Seeing him walk through the front door is my joy. I have dear friends whose aging parents are struggling these days; my own mom and dad are slowing down, but their minds are sharp and their humor is whole. Listening to them laugh is my joy. Over the years I have disrupted my children’s lives with selfish choices by dragging them along on rollercoaster marriage rides and turbulent career risks. And still they turn to me for guidance, hope and inspiration; their unflappable faith is my joy.
The sleek black cat purring in the window seat, the folks at work who make me think more creatively, the ten-year old car that is rattling like a haunted house yet still gets us where we need to go, the friends I know who smile when we see each other, the safety I feel in the arms of my beloved….these things are my joy.
It’s true, school wasn’t canceled today because of the snow. And it’s true, children throughout town were disappointed and grumbling. And it’s also true that it’s lightly snowing again now, and it’s beautiful to see from this warm spot.
This is about joy. It’s not so complicated.