JOY

WORDS LIKE LIGHT

Thursday,  January 27, 2022

         I used to think that joy was something so special that it could be experienced only occasionally, in exceptional circumstances, but now, in my 8th decade of life, I see more clearly that even the most commonplace situations can be joyful ones. Even my chest rising and falling in the customary process of breathing is a delight to observe, and the sight of my fingers tapping out these words on my computer keyboard brings me sincere gladness. Later this morning, I will open a new jar of blueberry jam, and perhaps I should do it with real elation, simply because I can do it, and because the jar is beautiful to look at, and because my breakfast toast-with-jam will be beyond delicious. Euphoria doesn’t have to be limited to rare occasions. Each moment that I am somehow and mysteriously alive and breathing is a time for exuberance. Each thing I see – a yellow pencil on my desk, a green cup full of coffee, the red sleeves of my old sweatshirt, tree limbs being lazy in winds – can bring something close to bliss. And even when sorrow comes, I can have the quiet and private joy of accepting the sorrow and trying to learn from it. Life can be hard, yes, but in the midst of the hardness, there’s always the softness of the sky overhead, which can be a cause for silent, humble exultation. 

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