‘Tis the season to be sure, but finding joy is sometimes a very elusive event. I liken it to following the flight of a kite, subject only to the whim of the wind. Or perhaps to a magnificent cloud formation that changes shape and form even as we behold it. If I had to give joy a personality, it would be that of a fairy or elf, appearing with a flutter of wings or a twinkle in the eye but vanishing just as soon.
Yesterday I went to the jeweler’s in the mall just to have a couple of knots unwound from a fine chain necklace. The humble pride of the jeweler in doing the job was so evident. “Oh,” he said, “I do this all the time, many times a day.” The knots were unraveled so quickly and he kindly affixed the chain back on for me. No charge and “Merry Christmas.” What a joyful interchange. And the mall was packed with children hopping and skipping, babes in arms and men waiting patiently on the benches for their shopping wives. Hustle and bustle but I was in the midst of joy.
I found a shiny penny in the grocery store parking lot peeking out from slightly melted snow and ice. In such moments you think, “Aha! I have found joy!” And then the moment passes, the present has become the past and now I am in the future wondering where the joy escaped to this time. It is rather like a geyser erupting. When it does, the power of that steamy water shooting heavenward is magnificent. And then all is so quiet again.
I’m sure we all know that joy really resides in the heart, but don’t we still seek it somewhere outside ourselves? Sometimes meeting with old friends brings back memories of times when our connection was deep and profound and the whole experience of an hour together becomes days worth of joy. My clever brother wrapped his packages in newspaper and they look so understatedly joyful under the tree, speaking of his practicality and fine wit.
Perhaps I should remember that not only am I seeking joy, joy is also seeking me. Joy is seeking you. Somehow at Christmas in lights and song, joy seems to be multiplying. May your hearts and homes be filled up with that magical elusive quality we call Joy.