I posted (rather impulsively) my Thirty Days of Joy post yesterday, went and took a picture of some happy wildflowers growing by my mailbox, and went right back inside and dusted off my actual camera. I’ve been taking pix with my smartphone long enough! My camera, a humble Canon PowerShot SD 1400 IS, is so much better at it. This in itself was joy-inducing, like reuniting with an old friend. An old friend that is not a touchscreen. (It’s good to laugh at oneself. While it’s not exactly joy-inducing, I think it sets the stage.) Here’s the one blue flower in the wildflower patch by my mailbox.
Out to camp we went, doggie, doggie supper, camera, and various and sundry Other Stuff we inevitably bring with us each trip to or from camp. More on camp later. Anyway, at first I was tired. Sleepy tired. This led to an important observation: crossing things off the to-do list does not engender joy. It engenders fatigue. Good to know. I often, like, daily, pursue the accomplishment of the crossed off to-do’s as if it’s going to make me happy. I wonder what would happen in the joy department if I pursued actual happiness as doggedly? First, I guess I have to learn what that is.
Speaking of dogs, let’s just get this out of the way right now. Here is a candid shot of Honey-Bear, our 11 year old canine, blessing me with an acknowledgement that I’ve spoken her name. She is too beautiful, too perfect, and too adorable to ever not be a source of joy, even when she’s a source of concern and a significant drain to the checkbook. More about that later, too.
Doesn’t she have a beautiful tail? I’m so jealous.
Anyway, pretty soon our friendly roofing guy, Jim, showed up to give us an estimate on getting a new roof for our camp. Inevitably, talk turned to fixing the Big Problem with the building, a happy little hiccough in the alignment that gives it a wavy look. The problem is caused by a boulder pushing up one of the supports. Turns out boulders do that. And pretty soon, one of us (not me) found an excuse to get up on the roof with Jim. Pretty much the fate of the entire building from vestigial brick chimney to straightening the roof line to whether to replace or cover this and that was discussed.
I know this, not because I was there or could hear them, but because of the serenity emanating from the roof that is the serenity my partner feels when a nuts and bolts problem is having nuts and bolts thrown at it and it’s being solved.
I, on the other hand, was communing with my flower garden, seated on the ground, taking macro shots of my sundrops just about to start dying off but still impressive.
And discovering what mighty things are flower buds.
And you know something? I was quietly and unmistakably joyful. Everything just kerchunked into place in that one moment of two people on the roof having a discussion and one person on her butt in the garden with a camera. I thought, it’s really pretty simple, this joy thing. You just have to sit still, allow yourself some pleasure, go to a little trouble for something you care about, and be listening for it. Having flowers about to burst into bloom helps, too.