“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” 

The morning is foggy and damp. A light mist is in the air. The prediction is for a high of 66˚, but right now it is only in the 50’s. Yesterday was a delight with bright sun and a clear blue sky. It was warm. I did deck work, clearing branches, leaves and the ubiquitous pine needles. Nala played keep-away with a toy from the house, a Santa which once was a Christmas ornament. That further cemented my decision not to have a tree last Christmas.

Some of the experiences and the joys in my life are permanently etched in my memory drawers, in one drawer especially, one drawer labeled Amazing.

I remember the field below my house. The grass was tall and turned brown quickly in the summer heat. I’d run through that field and watch the grasshoppers jumping in front of me. They were brown like the grass. I’d catch one in my hands then let it go. The grasshoppers left brown stains on my hands. I always thought it was grasshopper poop.

I remember sleeping outside in the backyard. I’d lie on my back and watch the sky hoping to see a shooting star. I usually did, and an out loud wow always followed. In Ghana, I saw a night sky filled with more stars than I’d ever seen. I saw shooting stars every night. I’d point and yell to my friends who were outside in their yard on the other side of the wall. Those nights sleeping outside were so spectacular I wanted to stay awake to watch the sky. I never did.

I remember standing with one foot in each hemisphere when I was in Ecuador. A small shack was beside the invisible equator. The man inside the shack sold postcards with the cancellation stamp reading equator. I send one to my parents. I sent them a postcard from every country I visited.

When I was a kid, I loved watching snow fall under the street light in front of my house. The flakes gleamed and shined. The light was a circle in the snow. It looked magical, a realm of fairyland.

Sunsets, fireflies, Christmas trees standing tall and bright with lights, the first colors of spring, the first sip of coffee in the morning, sheets smelling of sun and fresh air, dogs happy to see me when I come home, cozy clothes and summer breezes are joys in my life. I keep them safe in my memory drawer, in the one labeled Amazing.

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2 Comments on ““Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today is a repeat of yesterday’s weather. Hot for this time of year, but sunny and very dry. Yet another 90° plus afternoon.

    Like you I have some amazing memories that are as vivid in my mind as if they occurred yesterday. One summer night in the 1950s, I went on an overnight camp out sponsored by the JCC day camp. We stayed at a city park in east Dallas, called, “Flagpole Hill”. I remember how the ink black sky was filled with millions and millions of stars. One could easily see the lit up buildings of downtown Dallas at least ten miles away. Today, there’s so much light pollution and smog that sometimes it’s difficult to even see the moon. I didn’t get to stand across the equator, but I did stand across the prime maridian at the Greenwich Observatory near London.

    Memory is the one thing that’s 100% permanent in our mind’s eye.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      Today was even warmer than yesterday. That makes two spring days in a row. I’m getting spoiled.

      We’ll never forget those skies full of stars. Both of ours were jaw dropping. Ghana hasn’t too many big cities, but they too have light pollution. In the northern part of the country are so many villages with no lights that the sky there is still filled with stars. Some places and times make such amazing impressions we take joy in the remembering.

      Smells too seem to jump start our memories.

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