This week I've been watching parents of the young people slain at Virgina Tech trying to make meaning out of the lives of their lost children, and each one seems to begin by focusing on something joyful about that child. It's a gift that most humans have brains wired to respond in that way. For some of us it can be harder to work our way out of dark places, but I believe joy remains the key. It is the spirit of resurrection.
Tell us about five people, places, or things that have brought surprising, healing joy into your life.
1. Of course, Fellow Traveler comes to mind first and foremost; and she came into my life during a dark time indeed. I had more or less resigned myself to the probability of being alone for the rest of my life when, on that fateful Mother's Day last year, I got invited to a restaurant for a meetup of online acquaintances needing a mutual cheer-up, got a flat tire and needed a lift...and the rest is history.
2. Animals. They are honest; forgiving; fascinating; funny, both intentionally and unintentionally (I am convinced that dogs and cats have a sense of humor). And they definitely have personalities; wild animals as well as companion animals. And while they're like us in so many ways, they are also mysteriously "other." To share a moment of mutual communication with an animal, to realize that both of you have figured out what the other is trying to convey...that's magic.
3. Music. Music can bring me joy...even the low-down, belly-draggin' blues.
4. Hospitality: This is a new discovery for me, since as I've mentioned in previous posts my home has never tended to be Party Central. Even though there's hard work and a certain amount of anxiety involved...when you can get people together for good food and conversation, that moment when it all comes together -- when there is what the Celtic folks would call "crack" -- that's pretty cool.
5. Nature. There is something about being a very small sentient being confronted by something something big and awesome -- a sunrise, a thunderstorm, a mountain, a jewel-toned body of water, the velvety blackness of a starry night -- that can bring joy, and peace.