During the holiday season, we often hear the word “joy” used over and over again. We see it in Hallmark Cards and in commercials on television. The joy of life, the joy of living, the joy of the holidays, the joy of family, and it made me wonder what is “joy”? What is the joy of life?
For me, the joy of life is experienced in the moments, all those little moments, which are really the memories of every single moment that you find joy. Joy is not necessarily a continuous thing. Joy is momentary. For example: when you suddenly see a deer pass, or when you see a hummingbird stop at a flower, or when you are driving and the car in front of you has a child in the backseat who waves at you with a big smile…
But often we miss the little joys because we go past them without really stopping.
What if you could take the time to sit quietly and actually revisit those moments? Because in the end, that is all we have. I can tell you from experience that all the big stuff is forgotten, and what is left are those moments.
I described these moments in my first book when I said, “life is like a pearl necklace.” Every pearl is a chapter of a time in your life, even if the pearl is a bit dented, you remember the moment and the feeling of that chapter. This feeling brings back a lot of joy and we forget all the other things that were not good or the frictions that were there…
We remember the beauty of someone’s smile—that is a joy to me. It is a joy to me when I meet someone and the first thing we do is to smile broadly at each other for no other reason then that your eyes met in recognition of the other. That is the moment that brings such joy. It does not matter if that is a stranger or if it is your mother or your child. It is the same joy that you feel inside of you.
I let the pearls slide through my hands in my imagination and then every moment is remembered as vivid as if it were yesterday. I use this analogy of the pearl necklace as a tangible way to remember those intangible moments of joy.
Even the sad moments are remembered because, even though they might be sad, they brought me joy. Let me explain: you know the sadness you experience when someone passes? You think of those moments and through the sadness you remember the joy that this person has brought into your life. Without those moments you are not enriched.
I truly believe that is the beauty of the moments, the enrichment that it brought to your life! And without knowing it, you too have brought enrichment to other people’s lives. Without the moments, we have no life to remember…
So in this season, see it, feel it, and capture the moment.
For me personally, the moments are the smile on your child’s face when you pick them up from school. The deer that passes suddenly through the yard. The sea and the sound of crashing waves.
In all these moments, your head tilts to the side, as if your entire being is trying to drink in the moment.
You then know you are in that beautiful, perfect moment of joy.
What I hope you try this season is to remember and be conscious of the moments. Because this is all we have… moments.