Pause for Joy


Saturday, I found myself in a circle of dancing trees with long, thin limbs of fast growing youth. They were so tall that I had to tilt my head way back to see their tops – tossing in the wind, laughing, showing off their sun dappled leaves - like my carefree children who rode in the bed of the truck all weekend long.

And later, I followed the cry of a bullfrog to the lake’s edge. His throat warbled out into a hilarious balloon of lavender that when stretched looked like the evening sky of stars.

And my daughters sang from a canoe in the middle of the lake the Disney water songs that echoed off the hills and made the children playing in the sand take note and wonder about water nymphs or lake spirits – and all of it made us laugh.

And there was a bat in the grass, disoriented and confused about his position and purpose in life, much like I have felt lately. He did not belong there, but rather should have been soaring in the night sky proclaiming glory. My daughter picked him up with the sleeve of her sweatshirt and tossed him into the air where he wobbled away like a drunk on a dark night.

That evening, I rested on a boulder carved like an armchair and gazed at the Milky Way from a field not polluted by manmade light. Across from me was a teepee, a relic mimicking the days of old. I wondered about the ancients of history, who had a better sense of who they were in this vast world because they took the time to notice these things daily, not just on three day camping weekends.

Really the joy is found in the awareness, isn’t it? When we aren’t just racing through life stressed and worried and wondering why all this stuff is happening – when we forget the one who created the hills and the valleys and the sun dappled trees and the befuddled bats – and the laughter of our adult children who have come home -

even if just for a three day weekend.

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