The tightly restrictive early pandemic days were illuminating for me. “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone…” The absence of seemingly small things that gave me every day joy was notable. I missed getting together with a friend for coffee, to share personal space with them, to feel their smile. I suppose it didn’t really matter (in a way) that our smiles were covered by masks. How many of us were sincerely smiling with the joy of life underneath them? Our smiles had been stolen from us overnight.
Also no longer for a time able to take my daily nature walk (yes, they closed the parks where I was too!), I searched for ways to cling to happy thoughts, to overcome the constant feeling of oppression. It occurred to me that replaying some happy memories would help to preserve my feeling that joy is and would again be possible in the world.
I have a friend who started a social media group during that time. She shared (and still does) beautiful pictures of the Alps in Europe – the gorgeous scenery, the activities, the famous spots to visit in a cluster of countries – and together she and the members of the group have protected and kept alive the beauty of life. They helped each other come out the other side of a very difficult time.
What memories of your life give you a feeling of joyousness? This is one of mine that without fail makes me feel light of heart and spirit ~
The magical dragonfly is a fond girlhood memory of summer for me. Paddling around the lake on sultry afternoons, I loved to watch their iridescent colors flitting among the graceful lily pads. They captivated me. There was a purity and magic about these tiny gossamer creatures. They seemed to occupy a mysterious, unseen world, to which for a few moments I was privy.
Peace and a feeling of the goodness in the world were mine, and they still are when I close my eyes and revisit this memory. I also strongly reconnect to a sense of my intrinsic freedom as a human being on this Earth.
Whatever brings you joy, commit to fiercely protecting your memories and vision of what is good and right in the world. Obviously we can’t live solely in the past if we want to manifest a new future, but those joyous memories and history are the strong foundation on which to build it.
“…What if the point is to stop, then,… and listen to the birdsong, to watch the dragonflies hover, to look at your lover’s face, then up at the undersides of leaves moving together in the breeze? What if the point is to invite these others into your movement, to bring trees, wind, grass, dragonflies into your family and in so doing abandon any attempt to control them? ~ Derrick Jensen
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