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The connection with friends, eating outdoors. The normality I took for granted before a pandemic intervened, is indeed a joy just now. Best for me in small doses to savour.
(Ed. I’ve just read the chat today and am filled with joy by your stories of joy!)
This evening I viewed the “best” photos of the Olympics in the Washington Post. These brought me great joy. I felt a smile from ear to ear. The expressions of the athletes were priceless.
Thinking about it, it is the little things that bring joy that surprise me. It might be, as other people have said, an animal or plant that suddenly pops up into my sight – including, today, the robin that we thought must have died as we hadn’t seen it for a few days, suddenly reappeared in our garden – great joy! Sometimes it is a comment from my husband – particularly a loving or amusing one. Sometimes it is a view, an amazing piece of music, a sunset…small things that just touch the soul. Moments to brighten the day and to remember and cherish.
How can I not have been surprised by joy all my life? Each day is a gift right out of a big box with my name on it. I always RSVP.
On Easter, I happened to look out at the grassy area behind our townhomes and notice several rabbits. (No, I am not making that up!) When I looked out awhile later, I noticed that one would run at the other and the other would leap up in the air and the other would keep running underneath. I have seen this before, but not for a couple of years. I looked online and it said that this is how they play! I never thought of rabbits, or other non-pet animals playing. So funny that this happened on Easter.
Also, thanks for the question. Reminds me to look for my book by C.S. Lewis called Surprised by Joy. I haven’t read it in quite some time.
The most recent is going to places to eat and seeing my former students handing me the food. I SHOUT of JOY every single time. They mutually jump or smile big with the same joy. My babies are getting jobs now. It makes me proud & emotional. They have all given me wonderful updates on how things have been in high school (I’m a middle school educator).
I’ll be walking along, coming home from the supermarket, and I’ll notice a bush with delightful leaves – or the elephant-like bark on the huge live oak trees
For years I have been told that one can feel joy even in times of difficulty, but I had never tried to experience joy during times of difficulty until two years ago. The surprise was that I was able to go beyone the difficulty in my life – and feel the presence of God’s Holy Spirit – and feel Joy! I wish I had learned this lesson sooner in my life – but better late than never. I am now able to observe the difficulty – but also be aware of God’s presence – God’s Love – and God’s gift of Joy.
I was surprised by how joyful I was the day after my birthday. It was visible to other people; one person commented that I looked radiant. It was joy shining through me.
HOW HAVE I BEEN SURPRISED BY JOY?
Previously I noticed that my joyful moments/memories have nature in common, no matter the person I am with. Recently I’ve noticed being in city like places frustrates me and annoys me. With that in mind and my recent trip back home I have had joyful moments in the city. In other words I am surprised by joy with its flexibility and creator; we grant ourselves the choice to be happy and without that permission we will not experience it. From time to time I ask myself am I granting myself permission to be happy?
The rain! It has been in the 90s, and even 100 Fahrenheit here for days and days. A friend mentioned her roses are turning into potpourri while still on the bush! Because of the fires here last year, close to us, it is a mixed blessing. When it does rain, they have to close many roads and highways in the foothills and the mountains because of mudslides. Glenwood Canyon is closed again because of another mudslide. Parts of Roosevelt National Forest have been closed for weeks. But down here, at 5,003 elevation, it is hot and dry. Many people who have no air conditioning or transportation to get a reprieve from that baking sun are suffering terribly. And it rained! There was joy everywhere here. No more rain in the forecast, but it gave us some joy!
I am so happy for you! Even though I live in Ohio, i have been watching weather news of the drought with interest. If you care to, there are some great ideas in permaculture practices for making the best use of the rain you get so you can retain as much of it as you can in the soil for the plants later. In deserts a highly successful method is deep mulching, but of course in fire prone regions that isn’t always a good choice, but there are other methods, too: I have been studying how to make farms and natural land more resilient in climate change, so please don’t hesitate to ask me for resources if I can be of any service. The link below lists some of the ways you can retain more of the rain on your property: It is only a summary of techniques, but that particular site has more information on each idea. Again, so happy for you!
Very good website-thank you! I am a Colorado Master Gardener with CSU Extension, and we do alot with landscape techniques to help us with all the weather fluctuations we experience. It is a challenge, and I am glad to know you are studying these things as well.
Your local Extension may have other resources you have not discovered yet, and it is always a good idea to use a .edu site, because they are all science based.
I think in every state-even around the world-we are all experiencing different climate challenges, and it is great to hear others are also studying up on this…..so thank you again.
Lol. A kindred spirit. I have a degree in Sustainable Agriculture. I know our current extension officer well, but this is unfortunately not her area of expertise. However, recently I spoke with someone from the ODNR (Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Legacy Program) and found it unexpectedly useful! I learned quite a bit about forestry conservation in just an hour. I was very impressed with her passion, her expertise, and the services the ODNR offer to the public for free. She is helping a friend of mine to design his property to include a forest for food and other crops and helping him to write a grant to pay for half of it. It will also restore many indigenous species and bring the property back into balance. She knew a lot about precipitation patterns, water movement in the soil, how topography and certain trees and plants affect water levels, she sussed out immediately where the water table was, she seemed to identify every tree and plant we saw, all sorts of things. I was surprised how much of it was relevant to gardening in uncertain times, and I learned heaps. I would think Colorado has a DNR too? I agree about edu websites, but there are other good ones, too, like the USDA, ATTRA, SARE, Anyway, wonderful chatting with you, and thank you so much for the tips!
I better get some sleep now, I’m digging potatoes tomorrow! 🙂
Yes, we do! There are so many gifted people working on similar things now, it is a joy to see and experience the coming together of conservation in our time…it gives me great hope!
When my dog who is 15 years old and usually quite lethargic, suddenly wants to play, to run and bark and roll in the grass. She wants to be chased and then gives lots of kisses. Maybe there’s hope for all of us.
Unexpected answers to prayer. These are the best.
Thanks for the question, it prompted me to make yoghurt today because I remembered it gave me surprising joy the first time. Also, today and every Sunday, I have been burning old papers that are no longer needed, as part of a slow decluttering process. I have been surprised by joy through this ritual, and looking at the fire. I am getting matches in my next shopping:)
Congrats, Palm, for decluttering your papers! I need to follow your example..
Dear Mica, thank you. As you know, I have moved and I am now on the ground floor of the complex, by the garden. So, I am using the common BBQ grill to burn my papers, I think that makes it fun. I hope you enjoy it when when you are ready;)
Yay, Palm. 🙂
Surprised by joy when the rest of my family got to go to the family camp we normally go to and I stayed home with my 17 year old who has leukemia this week to continue his treatment. I’m surprised how much joy and laughter we have and that we aren’t buried in sadness and depression being locked at home all summer. So grateful.
Thanks for sharing, dear Jojo. May faith and healing be with your child. I am sure that positivity and kindness obviously of both of you helps a lot. My heartfelt best wishes accompany you both. All my prayers are with you also. Blessings be with you and your child.
Ditto on prayers. And well done, Jojo! Life is moments. So much better to enjoy the moments we have.
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