Following Louise's blog Recover Your Joy has given me much to ponder, starting with the concept of joy.
At times in my life joy has been absent from the picture. I recall a time when a friend came to visit and asked me, "What have you done lately that was fun?" And I couldn't come up with a single thing in response. The realization hit me hard at that moment... something was seriously lacking in my life, that something being joy.
Even now, joy is at times a bit illusive. I am content, I am at peace, I can definitely say my life is now good, where once it was far from that. But can I honestly say I am experiencing joy? I wonder if my capacity to feel that kind of intense emotion has been diminished or damaged along the way.
I am not one prone to bold displays of happiness... my feelings are more internalized. But certainly there I times I can think of that I have felt better than just ok, more than just happy, truly joyful... delighted with the given moment in my life. From this awareness springs my Thursday Thirteen list for today. I give you thirteen times in my life (in no particular order) that I clearly recall as being moments of joy...
- When I was small and a mama cat brought her kittens to me. (I wrote about it in this post.)
- The first time I held my babies in my arms.
- My wedding to my beloved husband.
- Standing on top of Terry Peak in the Black Hills after making the climb.
- Watching the deer walking next to a cabin we were staying in the mountains as we ate breakfast out on the deck.
- The weeks I spent at Red Cloud Indian School with the children there.
- The day I saw my previous town of residence in my rear view mirror as I headed down the highway to being an exciting new chapter in my life.
- Walking hand in hand with my husband on the beach in the moonlight.
- Driving our Polaris Ranger for the first time on a ranch road with amazing scenery all around.
- My first experience with guns and target shooting at the same ranch.
- Adopting our cat Sophie from the Humane Society and bringing her home to be a part of our family.
- Eating a picnic lunch on the rural piece of land we had just purchased that was soon to become our new home.
- The rare but treasured occasions I've spent together with my son and daughter in recent years.