“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Where be joy?

Thinking about joy today.
Which for me has a lot to do with peacefulness.

"The mere sense of living is joy enough." ~ Emily Dickinson

The last few days, reading blogs, reading books, I was struck by how joy-starved we seem to be, how hard we search for it, how we gravitate to places & people that seem to sing of joy. Last Thursday I found this at Liz's place, which led me here the next day. On Sunday, I couldn't get to Maddie's place fast enough, she who is always full of joy. Each place seemed to lead me further and further into how & where I might find joy - for Maddie, as nearby as a thrift store. For me, this past couple of weekends, it was painting not art, but walls & furniture, just giving in to the doing of it, watching color transform something old into something still old but now beautifuller, as my niece used to say. As I painted yesterday, I had the tv on, Mad Men reruns in the background, and I half listened to its characters search for joy, for happiness, for a purpose in just being, and I began to wonder about my mother, she being of the age & time of those characters, did she search so? I would say no, I haven't discussed this with her - so stop. Let me call her.

She laughed. She said of course not, she didn't search for joy, she had joy. She was doing what she wanted, she said. Remember the dresses I would make you?, she asked. I loved that, I loved putting in details, I just lived my life. I didn't look elsewhere. I had all the joy I needed. I have a feeling she would understand Maddie quite well. I, too, get that - I am not easily bored, I find joy in simple things, small things, but I struggle with the peacefulness, not realizing, perhaps, that that is the peacefulness, that joy in small moments, in unimportant things. That magic in the everyday. Do we, today, not do what we want, but what we must, what we think we should - like those characters on Mad Men? Do we have too many choices? Is that a curse, not a blessing, as some have suggested? Are we just too serious? And how do we stop that and just begin to play?

So I looked around today.
And joy being all tied up with peacefulness for me,
I found it . . .

. . . in the shimmy of candlelight on newly painted walls ~
. . . in the tree left on my neighbor's curb,
white fairy lights nestled through the leaves,
free for the taking ~
. . . in the face of the woman who took it,
trying to find a way to fit it into her too small car ~
. . . in my mother's voice
as she talked about being a young mother ~
. . . in watching Lily happy happy to see me this morning,
flopping on her back to have her belly rubbed,
two days without me just so looong ~
. . . in the sight of my niece's green fingernails,
the wallpaper on my telephone ~
. . . in the silence of no radio on yet here at work ~

Where is it for you today?
What is it?

I really like the sound my watch makes
as it clangles on my arm.


  1. Ahhh...I loved your post. I too was looking for moments of joy today. I had a hard time finding anything as my mind was willing to look as I simply had too many things on my to-do list today. However, I just got home about 30 minutes ago and logged into my blogspot. I started reading my favorite blogs...and finally just now after reading your post...found my joy for the day.

    Thank you.

  2. Thank you!. This is a 2 way street - you leave some joy at my doorstep every time you visit.

    :) Debi

  3. Joy is everywhere but most of us are too busy to slow down and find it. We are a society of living in the future and the past...never in the present moment which is where we need to be to find joy. I am seeking as you are for the joy...in life...in love...in living

    I am...

  4. joy here ...in a candle ...my sunroof open driving in the cool morning air..

  5. I am really a dork.

    I was reading through your wonderful list of blissful things, and when I got to *the wallpaper on my telephone* I thought to myself, "What?? How did wallpaper land on her telephone? Was she repapering a part of her house as she was painting and some little piece got stuck to her phone?"

    This is the thought process of someone who hasn't quite reached the stage of getting her own cell phone and adding wallpaper backgrounds.

    But I think, for me, part of my joyful life is NOT having a cellphone!


  6. Joy for me, tonight, is to finally take the plunge... no more delays, it has to be done.



  7. Our joy gets covered with TV shows, day to day work, running from here to there. Trying to et things done.
    I often think that joy loves being in the company of being still.

  8. Beautiful post. If we open our hearts and live each moment as it is meant to be lived, we will not have to go hunting for joy.


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