I wonder is joy a distant cousin to its much better-known relative, happiness? Whilst happiness has often been commodified by the marketplace, packaged and sold, joy seems wilder, stranger, harder to contain.
I just returned from a joyful hour’s walk with a friend. What made it joyful? It was natural, emergent not manufactured. The talking ebbed and flowed. We paused along the way, periodically dropping into silence. Pain mingled with amazement, wondering with listening. Oh, and the walk cost nothing.
Whatever joy is, the poet Mary Oliver calls us to open to its gift: “If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it…”
And when our walk was complete, I was greeted on my return home by these bright red poppies, wild flower seeds I had helped plant earlier this year. I wonder if one of joy’s siblings is gratitude?
What ordinary moments of joy have you had recently?