J is for joy.
Do you feel joy sometimes? Are you joyous? Joyful?
From Webster 1913: The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; pleasurable feelings or emotions caused by success, good fortune, and the like, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exhilaration of spirits; delight.
From dictionary.com: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.
I took the photograph two weekends ago. My daughter was racing, category 2 mountain bike race, three laps, four miles each. I was walking the course backwards with a friend. We had to be alert and step off the path every time a rider was coming. There were around 100 riders in category 2, all ages, men and women. We stopped to take photographs and cheer for everyone and especially our team!
A rider on the first lap had an asthma attack from all the pollen, and we walked him back out. I walked the bike while he concentrated on breathing. We stopped again to take pictures and then he could ride out. I walked on, listening for bikes, and there were trillium along the path….
I don’t think I can feel joy unless I also admit grief and all of the other feelings. It’s like weather, emotions come and go and may or may not feel like they make sense. If we refuse a feeling, it just seems to get stronger and rather panicky and keep bothering us…. until we treat it like the guest in Rumi’s poem.
Grief comes, and can be sweeping our mind clean for a new joy.