#JOY

OLD MAN CAUGHT IN THE RAIN

 

 

In the middle of my walk this morning…as my health I try to maintain…I was greeted from the heavens…with an unexpected rain.

 

It’s funny how it works…as the first raindrops and you collide…you immediately look around…for a safe, dry place to hide.

 

But I walk through old neighborhoods…and I didn’t think it bright…to hide on a strangers porch…while still blanketed by the night.

 

Which left me only one option…given the circumstances my reasoning was sane…if I didn’t want to get arrested…I’d have to give in to the rain.

 

And so I did and as I watched the raindrops upon my body find their way…all my apprehension about getting wet…miraculously faded away.

 

There was a rhythm to the rain…I could hear it…I could feel it in my feet…and before I knew it…there I was…dancing in the street.

 

I imagine if anyone was awake and watching…they would think I was insane…and wonder what this old man was doing…dancing in the rain.

 

But I take my walk quite early…it’s a routine for years I have been keeping…which means in most of the houses that I pass…the people are still sleeping.

 

What a shame…I thought to myself…for if this morning they happened to look out their windowpanes…

they would have seen an old man feeling like a young boy

encouraging them to join him…

outside…

dancing in the rain.

 

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THE PERFECT ANSWER

 

 

When asked how was your day…

may you always feel blessed to say….

 

It was a day just like every other one…

We were just kids…out having fun.

 

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AT A CHILD'S SOFTBALL GAME

 

 

If you’re lucky…if you’re blessed you can discover joy at any time…in any place…I remember the day I found it…of all places…upon a child’s face.

 

I remember we were far removed from fortune and from fame…sitting in the stands at a child’s softball game.

 

I watched this little girl strike out…on three pitches…without ever swinging the bat…I watched her smile all the way to the dugout and I thought…how’d she find joy in that?

 

Next time up she got a hit and that same smile crossed her face…the same smile as she took off and landed safe on second base.

 

She played the field wearing that same smile and immediately I thought…that smile appears on her face when the ball is hit…whether she catches it…or not!

 

She played with the same joy when she did well…when she made the perfect play as she did when she made an error…when she threw the ball away.

 

I remember watching the game that night and becoming happily aware…her joy wasn’t in how well she did…her joy was just being there.

 

And mine too…as I thought to myself…how lucky that I came…and how blessed to discover the face of joy…at a child’s softball game.

 

 

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JOY AND SORROW

Our lives will have their share of joy and happiness

with a sprinkling of sorrow and pain

They will see their share of sunshine.

They will see their share of rain.

 

At times we will find ourselves in the midst of a joy…

like we’ve never felt before…

when all of a sudden sorrow

comes knocking on our door.

 

At times we will find ourselves consumed with sorrow…

wondering if it will ever end

and suddenly find joy waiting for us

just around the bend.

 

Knowing life can change in an instant…

No matter what we plan…

We try to remember to enjoy the joy

every moment that we can.

 

And when sorrow is a visitor

We try never to lose sight…

how her shadows will eventually fade

In the joyfulness of light. 

 

Knowing life is unpredictable

always changing

and has no guarantees

we close our eyes

we fold our hands

and we get down on our knees.

 

We pray that fate or destiny 

or the universe will be kind…

that when sorrow enters our life…

joy is never far behind.

 
 
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HOW DID SHE DO IT?

He often asks himself how she did it…

what subtleties did she employ

to help him find his happiness

to help him discover his joy.


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IT IS A WONDERFUL WORLD

I have moments I begin to think hatred and pain and suffering in this life are a given

Luckily in the next moment I’m reminded of what a wonderful world I live in.

 

Yesterday as sadness spread through the world like a virus how was I to know

joy would tap me on the shoulder in the form of: 

an old book, 

an old song 

and a forgotten TV show…

 

A young couple came into the bookstore not on a specific expedition 

but they found a book they both loved and had to have…it was a first edition.

 

They hugged then kissed as together they held onto that book

“Smile!” I said as with their phone their anniversary picture I took.

 

Next in the store came a mother…to her chest she was carrying her child

They stopped to say hello and when the baby looked at me…he smiled.

 

“His name is Malcolm.” his mother said and I could see innocence in his eyes.

He smiled at me every time they passed me and even as he waved goodbye.

 

For the last half hour we are open in the evening…I do this religiously

as a nice way to end the day…I play the same soft, smooth CD.

 

When it began to play this older couple came to me…

the wife’s eyes were filled with tears

“This is the song we danced to at our wedding!” She said ,

“and we’ve been married for 35 years!”

 

They lingered in the store a while, bought a book and were about to leave when…

I said, “Wait one minute. Happy Anniversary!”… and I played their song again.

 

A young couple a baby and an older couple reminded me of joy 

and left me feeling high

as they all, on their way out of the store, smiled and waved goodbye….

 

In case you were wondering what book, what song, what TV show

here’s the answer to that riddle

It began with A Clockwork Orange 

It ended with What a Wonderful World 

And the smile that brought such joy…

 

that was Malcom in the middle.



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MORE LITTLE THINGS

I’ve said this over and over again because I believe it to be true

most of our enjoyment in life comes from the little things we do.

 

Little moments…little adventures…little wonders

that somehow find a way

to enter into our lives…and brighten up our day.

 

Like moments found by two thin blooded Floridians…both over 65 years old

on a recent camping trip together…when the weather outside turned cold.

 

They bundled up and took a boat ride…

they listened to what the captain had to teach

they saw a fort that was built but never used

and watched wild horses running on a beach.

 

They ate the best clam chowder and crab cakes

they had ever been served

and they handed the waitress who served them

a tip she so rightly deserved.

 

They stood on the edge of the Atlantic ocean

while a flock of birds circled overhead

they tried the Pirate punch in the oldest bar in Florida

and watched as their cheeks turned red.

 

They watched three sunrises and sunsets

They saw a family of dolphins perform…

they found when you hold hands even if it’s freezing outside

inside you feel warm.

 

These little moments…little adventures…little wonders

somehow found a way

to enter into their lives…and brighten up their day. 

 

Thus proving once again what I’ve always believed to be true

 

most of our enjoyment in life…comes from the little things we do.


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WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT

When we are young…just starting out…as little girls and boys

Why is it important for us to feel happiness and joy?

 

Why is it important at least one time every day

for a child to feel joy as they run or jump or play?

 

Because when we get a little older…there may come a day

when it is a little harder for us to run and jump and play…

 

On these days when we try…but our bodies are betraying

we can close our eyes and remember

the joy we had while playing.

 

On these days when we try…but our bodies may be slumping

we can close their eyes and remember

the joy we had while jumping..

 

On these days we will realize something altogether stunning

when we close our eyes we can remember

 

the joy we had while running.

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MY TEACHERS

There is a wise old saying…an ancient Chinese gem: 

When three people walk together my teacher is among them.

 

We had a simple dinner with some friends and the first thing I was taught

was if you listen but a little…you’re bound to learn a lot..

 

I learned a lot about sadness

sadness that our basic foundation seems destined to destroy…

I learned if we are ever to survive that sadnesses

we must discover joy. 

 

I learned a lot about how the sadness of a natural disaster, 

of divorce

of sickness 

of wars that never seem to end

can be offset by the joy that floats around a table

filled with family and friends. 

 

I learned in the midst of a sad world

there is more joy than one might think

as I watched the laughter, support and wisdom 

of people sharing food and drink. 

 

As luck would have it other friends came into the restaurant

It was like a holiday!

They were celebrating their 5th grandchild…

born earlier that day.

 

I learned although weakness can come from sadness, 

meant to injure, to bruise…to annoy

our courage, our determination…our strength

comes from our faith, our love…our joy.

 

I learned this simple lesson which I will from this day forward now employ….

I shall not close my eyes to sadness

but I shall open them more…to joy…

 

Any ancient Chinese scholar sitting in that restaurant would have smiled…

It would have been easy for he…or she…to see

there was more than one teacher in that room that night…

 

In truth…they were surrounding me.



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