I don’t know about you, but this summer hasn’t felt much like summer to me. Yes, there has been a bit of a slowdown in church work. Yes, the weather feels like summer and the drought is an on-going reminder of the lack of rain. Usually, though, I feel a kind of lightness in the summer months, at least in spirit.
This year, however, I feel a kind of heaviness that is more than just the struggles my bodymind has with heat. I know I can attribute the heaviness to the happenings in this country and around the globe that make me question the existence of goodness and love in the world.
As a result, this week I made it a practice to seek out joy in the ordinary. And I’ve been taken by surprise more than once. Yesterday, on the drive to the dog park with Morgan, I noticed two minivans parked at Dairy Queen. They were filled with elderly nuns in white habits. As I drove by, one nun was carrying two cups (likely Blizzards) as other nuns were climbing back into the vans. She looked delighted.
I found myself smiling all the way to the dog park. The simple delight of ice cream on a July afternoon isn’t something I can personally enjoy. Yet, the clear happiness of those two vanloads of nuns was contagious.
There were other moments this week in which my heart felt lighter. There was the discovery of wild black raspberries and strawberries growing throughout the dog park. I picked a bunch and made syrup from them which I’ve used to sweeten my tea all week.
There was the shrieking laughter of a toddler as Morgan greeted them with exuberance. Then the simple pleasure of floating in the pool as the sun set. So many other moments of joy…
It was a good spiritual practice this week to be on the lookout for joy. I encourage you to be mindful and present for the simple moments that can lift our spirits. When we forget to attend to joy, the world, and our existence in it, can feel unbearably heavy.
What is bringing you joy this week? And what have you done to pass it on?
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