I started an apprenticeship in “joy-finding” from the moment I was born. My parents taught us to appreciate each day. To be thankful for simple things. To be satisfied. My parents were not people who delayed happiness. They didn’t wish the hours away. They trained us to pause and to notice beauty in everyday moments.
A bluebird, feathers fluffed and ruffling, perched on a fence post.
A doe and twin fawns standing silently in a field’s mist.
A newborn calf on knobby, wobbly legs, nursing for the first time.
Treasures—beautiful, preserved vignettes—cut from the long-running films of our early life. Colored slides I can scroll through, select, and savor at any time.
Even during my father’s difficult final days, he found joy in togetherness. In the changing seasons. In the touch of my hand in his.
I am good at finding similar delight in my life today. I know I am lucky to have studied with such skilled joy-finding masters. If I find my mood sagging, I know I can summon those early lessons. I can live in the moment. I can pause and seize a snippet of happiness.
Sometimes I feel it in my chest. A warming. A blossoming. It sometimes brings tears. Sometimes, soaring lightness.
My husband’s blue eyes and smile as he comes in the kitchen door.
The taste of a sun-warmed tomato, the soil rubbed from its ruby skin.
My grandbaby’s tiny head on my shoulder, her breath tickling my neck.
Tiny moments. Common moments.