The fog seems to be lifting, a flu fog that has left me capable of only the barest activities. I haven't even noticed my winter trees and their grey trunks that always bring me calm.Thanksgiving, Christmas and then the beginning of January.A blur.
Now, the calm of January is here, where I hoped to get back to my routine, the one that holds me on this Fourth Hill of Life. Praying and writing. The rosary, that for weeks has been my safe place, centering prayer that gives me the exact same feeling of being held above the turmoil. How blessed I am in these. Then the routine of desert time, using a pen for praising, thanking, and asking and then the precious Word.What gifts to my soul but so many distractions render these untouched. My own fault.
The only thing that I have been faithful to completely is my Joy Journal. I found this lovely quote from Sister Wendy that reveals the truth of what joy is: "Joy is not a constant condition. Most people manage a settled cheerfulness, but this, however admirable, has nothing to do with joy, which flashes suddenly upon our darkness.....joy does not merely illuminate our interior landscape, it transforms it .The world becomes different, marvelous, and unique."
I think of a morning after Christmas.I noticed a man who I have seen for years, but never met ,walking towards church from a different direction.than myself. I went over to him, he opened his arms for a hug and then he proudly lifted his foot to show me his gorgeous new boots."Wow," I said, "someone knows you well". He said:, "my wife". I nodded, and he said,"I'm just a country boy."Then from my heart, passing through the rest, came this: "Country boys are the best". We both beamed. The light shines again as I type.
An e-mail that I received before Christmas from a wonderful new friend, Liz, made my journal note for 12-13-17.She attached a recording of "Jesus is Love", by the very upbeat Commodores."My spirit soared as I listened and because I transcribed it, it's back.What a gift.
Stick your head out, walk out of your way, keep your eyes open, you can capture joy with the net of your heart.