Friday, September 29, 2017

50 for 50, day 23: Joy

This is the 23rd of 50 posts celebrating my 50th birthday. You can read the rest here.

When I was younger I took joy for granted. I would find myself awash in happiness and knew it would come again. I have now lived long enough to know that joy will always return, but it might be fleeting, it might be rare. I try to notice it and thank it whenever it appears.

I know that the standard definition of joy is a kind of brilliant happiness. I love that feeling, but my personal definition of joy is a little more specific. Yes, it's that brilliant happiness but there is also a deepness to the feeling that most defines joy in my personal lexicon. It's as if all of my molecules were vibrating in time with one another and I become a crystal goblet that, at least in that moment, is so wholly attuned to the universe that I ring with the song of the stars. It is a state of deep connectedness with myself, with the moment, with the space between every cell. That's how I experience joy. It's an internal state that can be triggered by external things.

Most recently I have found joy in nature. I am on vacation near the ocean right now, and I find if I spend awhile watching the sunlight shimmering water I feel that resonance. I have glimpses of it when the chipmunks at home decide I am safe enough that they will sit in my hand for their peanut feast. I've felt it when with lovers or when I feel deeply connected with a friend. Some music has brought me to that state.

It's a feeling that doesn't last, but it's lingering tones are sometimes enough to sustain me until the next moment of joy.

What is joy to you? When do you experience it? I'd love to know.
(c)2017 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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