Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Joy In My Arms (revisited)

(Audrey at Barking Mad is sponsoring a giveaway for a $300 gift card to Target. She is asking us to write about joy and what brings us joy. I guess I'm cheating a bit by revisiting this post from Sept. 2, 2008. I hope it counts. I don't know why, but I've lost my sense of joy. It'll come back. I hope it's soon.)

Where do you feel your joy?

Joy is my favorite word, not because it's such a pretty word, but because it is the representation of a beautiful experience. American Heritage Dictionary (via dictionary.com) defines it this way:

1. Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.
2. The expression or manifestation of such feeling.

It's not just a feeling of happiness, joy moves way beyond that. It's almost a visceral emotional experience. I find joy in the smallest snippets of my day. In my work with students, I find that many of them have never experienced the feeling of joy and have great difficulty identifying an emotion as such.

In the middle of July, I brought three dear friends to experience my home state of Maine. I love Maine. Although it has some not-so-pretty parts, most of Maine is breathtakingly beautiful. I was ecstatically happy to bring people I love to the state I love. They recognized and saw beauty even in the simplest of things. My heart danced with delight. All through the week, I would stretch my arms in the air and say, "I'm so happy." Eventually, that turned into, "I have joy in my arms!" They all laughed and said, "You have joy where? "In my arms! In my arms! I have joy in my arms!" And I did. From the shoulder to the elbow. Joy, joy, joy. In my arms. Joy in my arms.

Don't ask me why I had joy in my arms, I just did. I had it in the region of my heart, too, but I noticed a tingly, delightful feeling in my arms. I'm getting it right now as I think of it. My children bring me joy, my spousal unit brings me joy, a beautiful sunset brings me joy, seeing a flower I've planted bloom brings me joy. Little children who delight with abandon bring me joy. Not just happiness, but joy. Joy, joy, joy in my arms.

So, I ask again, where do you feel your joy? And what brings it to you?


TechnoBabe said...

Joy is associated with peace in my life. Peace meaning serenity, calm. Joy doesn't necessarily require happiness to be full blown joy. A little over a year ago I wouldn't have even begun to talk about joy, I was the saddest ever in my life. But today there is peace and each day that I feel the serenity I count as a day of joy.

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