In Training

High Tide by Barbara KingsolverIn my own worst seasons I've come back From the colorless world of despair By forcing myself to look hard, For a long time, At a single glorious thing

A flame of red geranium Outside my bedroom window And then another: My daughter in a yellow dress And another: The perfect outline of a full Dark sphere behind the crescent moon

Until I learned to be in love with life again Like a stroke victim Retraining new parts of the brain To grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, Over and over again...

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I ran across this poem recently and transcribed it into my journal immediately. I love this reminder that joy is something that you practice. Something you keep doing and keep choosing. It's a skill to be learned.

So I've been doing just that. Practicing joy. Looking at the glorious things that are in my day to day. It does work. But it takes a lot of being gentle with myself... Kindly reminding myself that I'm in training. That it's ok to start over. And start over. And start over.

Here are two of my glorious things today:

Hiking in the woods this morning. Colin usually goes in the mornings, but he helped me bundle up and graciously allowed me to take his turn. The snow sparkled. I spotted three large deer. Vince rolled around and jumped through deep snow. And I did a few half sun-salutations facing the sun itself. I returned home feeling like a new person.

My little red head. This kid radiates joy. She has a game of fake laughing until she starts laughing for real. She is constantly hungry and is always signing for blueberries or grapes or graham crackers. She loves to be chased. She waves at everyone we come across and smiles at them. It's like she's saying, "Hi, my name is Veda! Let's be friends!"

Tomorrow is another chance to spot the glorious.