A Joyous Day

Happiness is a choice, and I choose to be happy 99 per cent of the time. Yet occasionally life surprises me with a day so perfect, so filled with joy, that I feel I’m in touch with the Universe. Saturday was such a day.

If you’ve kept up with the news, you know that the entire western U.S. is burning, and Colorado is no exception. The Grand Valley is ringed with fires sending ash and smoke into the air, and since we’re in a valley, the smoke gathers, obscuring the mountains and making breathing difficult, especially for those of us who have asthma or other conditions.

That day I woke to wet sidewalks, and about 7:15 rain bucketed down on my little corner of the valley for about 15 minutes, clearing and cooling the air. The clouds dissipated, the sun shone and a cool breeze moved through the summer trees, sending leaf shadows dancing across the deck as I cracked the rest of last year’s pecans. (For the first time in years I don’t have bowls of unshelled nuts sitting on the counter!) Classical music surrounded me as I worked, and I marveled at how this perfect day nudged the year one day closer to autumn. Pots of petunias scented the air, and I breathed easily and thankfully.

An afternoon big band concert brought sorrow as the band leader announced that the guest of honor, Walt Smith, had passed away that morning. Instead of Walt at the keyboard of the baby grand, his picture sat on top. Still joy filled me, knowing that he had filled so many lives with so much joy as he played for over 50 years. As the band played, memories of Rocky and his skill at the piano filled me. Tears gathered behind closed eyelids as I felt the love that he shared with me, bittersweet joy.

Later, lunch and then drinks with dear friends and new ones. A night filled with laughter, tales both real and tall, and more memories to keep me smiling. More joy.

A funny thing about joy (and pretty much every emotion): The more attention one give it, the more of it appears. From now on I’m choosing joy and happiness instead of gloom, love instead of fear and hate, acceptance instead of judgment. And I bet I’ll get much more of all of the above. Want to come along for the ride?