She crawled into her father’s lap…her lips were quivering…

there were teardrops in her eyes.

“Some kids in school called me ugly.” She said…then she began to cry.


She looked at him with innocent, beautiful eyes…the deepest, brightest blue..

and asked him quite directly…“Daddy, do you believe I’m ugly too?”


He held her to his chest…she wiped her nose upon his sleeve…

then he whispered in her ear…”Let me tell you what I believe.


“Sometimes people say things,” he said, “to be nasty…to be mean.”

“I believe you are possibly one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen.”


“I believe you’re beautiful…and one day I believe you’ll believe it too…

I believe in miracles and Karma…I believe fairy tales do come true.”


“I believe in love and friendship….I believe in kindness and family.

I believe in ghosts and fairies and angels…I believe in wonder and destiny.”


“I believe a higher power created the planets, the stars, the sky, the sun.

I believe in the spirit of love…I believe there’s good in everyone.”


“I believe we should listen to the animals…I believe there’s magic in moonbeams.

I believe that art is all around us…I believe there’s beauty in your dreams...”


As he looked down she was sleeping in his arms…which gave him some relief.

“I believe that you are beautiful.” He whispered…

“And I believe that I am blessed...beyond belief.”

View joy's Full Portfolio



This simple story I relate to you exactly as it unfurled…reminding me there is still pure beauty and innocence in the world.


A mother and her daughter entered the bookstore…at guessing ages I am poor…I know enough not to try to guess the mother’s age…but her daughter was five…or maybe four.


They browsed around the bookstore for a while…up and down every aisle they looked…then they exited the store…without purchasing a book.


I could see them talking outside the window…I imagine there was a lesson the mother wanted her daughter to learn…because a few moments later…by herself…the daughter had returned.


Soon she was at the counter…book in hand…and in a voice so pleasant and nice asked, “Sir, could you please tell me…this book…what is the price?”


I told her $4.99…she smiled then I said, “Wait! There’s more…with tax this little golden book comes to five dollars thirty-four.


She thought for a moment and this is my favorite part to reminisce…then held up a twenty dollar bill and asked, “Is the price of the book less than this?”


And I had to smile as I witnessed the beauty and the innocence in this little girl with her hair flowing down her back when I told her, “Not only is that enough…but you’ll be getting money back!”


Once again with her beauty and innocence now on full display…she smiled…handed me the twenty dollar bill, picked up her book…and began to walk away.


“Wait!” I cried as she walked away while still within my range… “I’m glad you have your book but you forget your change.”


I will remember forever her expression…it was a smile both innocent and grand….when I counted out fourteen dollars and sixty-six cents and put it in her hand.


I could see how her mind was working…how lucky she felt…I could tell…

Because after coming in with one bill…

she was leaving with her book….5 bills and 4 coins as well.


“I’m rich!” She said smiling at me.  “Richer than I was before….

I nodded thinking how we’re both a littler richer since she walked into the store.


As she left I silently thanked her for reminding me in this world there is beauty and innocence still….

a fact I will remember every time I find within my hands…a twenty dollar bill.

View joy's Full Portfolio




The moon was still shining bright and…as the sun rose…they began to play…and I felt blessed I was there to witness the birth of a new day.


Last nights rain clouds, now empty, still lingered in the sky…as pelicans and ibises and starlings sailed by.


The moon began to dim…her nightly job she knew was done…as she happily relinquished the day to her partner and good friend…the sun.


It’s as if the moon had turned around…in search of her next night…bidding a fond farewell to the clouds and their canvases of white.


The clouds, for their part, were happy to join in on the fun…they stood tall and proud and ready…to be painted by the sun.


The sky…only a moment ago infused in an ebony black hue…began her metamorphosis into a cerulean sky blue.


With the blue sky as her backdrop…the sun without constraints and with a brush on every ray of light…she began to paint.


She painted fast and furiously…each cloud constantly changing like the colors of a flame…and I thought…how amazing she’s been painting since the dawn of time…yet no two paintings are the same.


Her paintings are ephemeral…at the beginning of each day…and each new brush stroke…each new painting…took my breath away.


I became aware of the silence…how all the noise around me suddenly decreased…

and at how the morning breeze…in that same moment…suddenly had ceased…


And it occurred to me the Earth was also watching the birth of a new day….

and just like me…the wonders she was witnessing…took her breath away.


View joy's Full Portfolio




Every moment of every day has its beauty…from the dawning of first light…

But today I’d like to concentrate on the beauty of the night.


Darkness has a subtle way of muffling all sound as it drifts down from the heavens…blanketing the ground.


Although there is much beauty to be found in modulation, pitch and tone…

silence possesses a unique and unequaled allure…a beauty all her own.


Looking up at night one quickly discovers a beauty nonexistent in the day…it’s when the moon, the clouds and the stars all come out to play.


The clouds illuminated by the moon take on an inner glow…somersaulting…changing size and shape as across the sky they flow.


I love to watch the moon and stars as from behind the clouds they peek…it’s as if the heavens are participating in a game of hide-and-seek.


The breeze is always invisible as she makes her nightly advance…but you feel her as she passes…and you watch the trees around you dance.


The night awakens the sleeping shadows…telling them it’s time to rise…you see them shake and yawn and stretch…as they wipe the sleep from out heir eyes.


Yes, the more you walk within the night…the more you see her beauty on display…the more you feel you’re a part of her beautiful ballet.


You find yourself stopping…turning around…your pace is deliberate and slow…because there is so much there to see…and you don’t want to miss the show.


Which is why, although I love the beauty of the day…the beauty of the light…I shall also always be enamored…by the beauty of the night.

View joy's Full Portfolio




A light rain began falling this morning and when I looked up much to my surprise I saw a small cloud just above me with tears falling from her eyes.


“What’s the matter little cloud?” I asked as she floated in the sky. 

“On a beautiful morning such as this…what could make you cry?”


“It’s funny you should say beautiful.” The little cloud answered. 

“And I’m not sure you’ll understand but I see so much beauty every day as I drift across the land.”


“I see mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers.  I see oceans and the sea.

The animals, the flowers and the people…all look so beautiful to me.”


“I see beauty in every blade of grass and every drop of morning dew but how often I have wondered…if I am beautiful too.”


“Oh little cloud,” I said to her, “I can see you are compassionate…kind and sweet and dutiful…and the fact that you see beauty everywhere…why…that’s what makes you beautiful.”


“I can’t speak for all of nature…I can only speak for me but I have often thought what makes something beautiful is all the beauty you cannot see.”


“Many people look to the outside of a person and think that’s where their beauty begins, but I can tell you from experience…true beauty lies within.”


“I think I can help you little cloud.” I said. “All you need do is follow me.”

Then I took her down to the shore and as she hovered over the sea…


I said, “Perhaps today is the day we set your beauty free.

Look down into the water…into your soul..and tell me what you see.”


The little cloud looked into the water and smiled as she shook her fluffy head.

Then a tear fell from her eye as she sighed…”I am beautiful!” She said.


“Today was your lucky day!” I whispered to myself as I waved to that little cloud from afar…”for many people live their entire lives not knowing how beautiful they are”.

View joy's Full Portfolio


Here is a recent question posed to me that I needed time to think about…

What are the things in this world…I cannot live without?


Looking past food and water…the things my body needs in order to help it thrive…

I thought I’d concentrate on those things my heart and soul need to survive.


The first, for me, is love in all it’s many forms…like the love of my family and friends…Yes, love is definitely something in my life I never want to end.


The second would be hope…for even in my darkest times…when I was filled with doubt…hope was standing by my side telling me…things would all work out.


Any time a storm hit my life…no matter where or when…hope was there to remind me…the sun will shine again.


Perhaps that’s why I love sunrises so much…although this may seem a bit cliche…because rising with the sun each morning…is the hope of a new day.


The third thing would be beauty…for as long as I’m awake…I love my relationship with beauty…our subtle give and take.


For when the beauty I see around me…in the land, the sea, the air…finds its way into my heart…I begin to see more beauty everywhere.


Music would be next up…all the different types of music that I hear about…especially the music of nature…something I don’t think I could live without.


The roar of the ocean, the whistling of the wind, the sound of a single raindrop pinging…how you never know on a walk in nature which birds will be singing.


I’m sure there are more things I can’t live without that if I thought harder I would find…but these are the first four things that popped into my mind.


I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when I read this list backward…(the list I just made up above)…music, beauty, hope…all lead back to love.


No, I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all…in fact…I have do doubt…

Love is the greatest gift of all…and something I cannot live without.

View joy's Full Portfolio




I am not an expert on the stars or the flowers.

I can’t think like an expert does.

I am not an expert on the stars or the flowers

but there are times…when I wish I was.


I used to dream how great it would be 

in this wonderful world of ours

to be a botanist who knows the flowers…

or an astronomer who understands the stars.


But I never got to be an expert.

An expert my parents never begat…

No…I have never been an expert

and I’m okay with that.


Because there is a distinct advantage to now knowing 

everything in sight.

It means I’m surprised most every day…

and amazed most every night.


I don’t need to know every constellation

to experience the wonder of a planet or a star.

I don’t need to know the name of every flower

to see how beautiful they are.


When I walk among a field of flowers

In a morning or afternoon breeze

I only think how lucky am I to share this beauty

with the butterflies and the bees.


Every now and then, only for a moment, I envy the experts

who have within their power

the name of every constellation, every star

and every flower.


And every now and then…

as I allow my untrained eyes and heart to wander free

I wonder if, only for a moment, 

those experts don’t envy me.



View joy's Full Portfolio


I have only head the early bird who wakes before first light

I have never seen her beauty even when the moon is bright.


There was a time I’d try to find her as her song drifted on the breeze

I would search the rooftops, and the bushes and the flowers and the trees.


But I stopped my hunt to see the early bird…even under the brightest moon

When I realized as I was searching I forgot to listen to her tune.


Now when I hear the early bird…when I hear her morning song rise

Not only have I stopped looking for her…I often close my eyes.


For I have learned a lesson…taught to me by the early bird…

That not all beauty must be seen…some beauty must be heard.


View joy's Full Portfolio


I see many wonders on my morning walks but nothing quite compares

with a little plant I see each day that grows beneath the stairs.


I’m not sure if he’s a little tree or if he is a flower…what kind

There are no other plants around him…but he doesn’t seem to mind.


I asked him once…I said, “Little plant wouldn’t you rather be

near a lake, or on a mountain top…or growing by the sea?”


He looked around and smiled saying, “This is where I’ve alway grown.

Underneath these stairs is the only home I’ve ever known.


Here I am protected from the rain and shaded from the heat of June

Somedays I dance while in the shadows…others while illuminated by the moon.


When I stop and think about it…it all seems pretty clear

to add a little beauty to this spot is why I’m growing here.


And isn’t it wonderful knowing while you’re out walking

you can find beauty anywhere…

even where you least expect it…like growing beneath these stairs.”


And he was right, that little plant…after our little talk

I can’t wait to greet him every morning for he adds a little beauty to my walk…


As I stop each day to greet him…I am totally aware

of all the beauty that would be lost If he wasn’t growing there…


I’ve had many teachers in my life…but nothing quite compares

with the lesson I learned about beauty


from that little plant beneath the stairs

View joy's Full Portfolio