Joy in January

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”

– Rumi

My prompt for January is joy. The idea for these prompts, one for each month, came from a lovely post written by a writing friend of mine, Marquessa. You can also find a link to her post that started it all in the links section below.

I do not see myself as a joyous sort of person despite my years inhabiting the Ho Ho Man persona. I consider myself a rather more serious, considered sort of traveller through life so the prompt to write on this topic has given me some real pause.

Firstly I see joy as something less than exhilarating, such as the excitement I felt for example when Leo Barry took that mark in the dying seconds of the 2005 AFL grand final which enabled the Sydney Swans, formerly South Melbourne, to win the flag after a drought of some 72 years. That exhilaration was far beyond what I think of as joy.

Joy to me is a smaller, warmer, more personal sense of well-being, best encapsulated by the Rumi quote above. It is the kernel of words like “enjoyment” and “enjoyed” and that helps put it in a better perspective. It is more the feeling, the satisfaction, I get when I publish a blog post and then experience the views, likes and comments after publication.

The opportunity to witness a beautiful sunset brings me joy and fills me with wonderment that we are able to feel perfect still when in fact the solid ground we are standing on is rotating away from the sun at an imperceptible but phenomenal speed.

Simply sharing a warm comfortable silent moment in the company of my beloved wife brings me an inordinate amount of joy. Then the silence will probably be broken with “Would you like another cuppa?” Ah, bliss.

A simple unexpected phone call from one of my sons can also lift my spirits with joy. The hardest lesson in being a parent, and there have been so many, is the transition in relationships as they become adults and then parents themselves. I think sons and fathers have a less dependent relationship throughout life than do daughters and mothers and there are times when I sorely miss the closeness of my sons as we had in earlier years.

Catching the steady affectionate gaze of a pet simply fills my heart with joy. How I read affection in their gaze is difficult to explain but there is no mystery about the joy it brings me.

Joy itself can be infectious. The wagging of a pet’s tail can bring a smile to my face at the joy they are showing at connecting with me. Seeing the joy on the faces of people participating in something they love can also bring happiness, joy even, to me as well.

Joy, like beauty, I believe lies in the eyes of the beholder and one of the challenges I have set myself after my reparenting experience is to acknowledge and notice the joy to be found in all manner of things. We all too often agonise our way through life worrying about all manner of what turn out to be minor things and in the process miss out on experiencing the joy found in the broad array of beauty that surrounds us every day.

The search continues.


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