My yoga teacher often said, “Nothing is revealed, except in contrast.” How do we know when it’s dark outside? The sun is absent. How do we know if we’ve healed from an illness or injury? The absence of discomfort or pain. In yoga terms, how do we know we’re in joy? The absence of all that blocks our recognition of our natural state.
I’m usually a contented person. I don’t often get mad or sad, and annoyances and frustrations don’t bother me for long. This last week, two moments stand out where the voice in my head said, “Pay attention. This is joy.” One was while Holly and I were riding. My back was momentarily pain free, the sun shined down, birds called in the trees, and peace settled over of us. I found myself smiling. The second moment occurred after I’d attended three consecutive Zoom write ins with a writer’s group I joined a year ago. I had written for over an hour. The story was showing up on the movie screen in my head as it always has. And I listened to other writers joke about deadlines and editors. The feeling of comaraderie is one I haven’t felt in a few years. Again, as I smiled, that voice said, “Pay attention. This is joy.”
Contrast these moments with a crisis on Wednesday morning, and yes, joy stands out. I learned a couple of things from these little gifts. First, even doing a Zoom meeting lifts one out of isolation. Second, my question as to whether I can still create a story was answered. Next, I don’t ever take for granted my time with Holly. And finally, that joy is found in moments between thoughts when there is only the experience.
“The Found Gift” will probably be a novelette or novella. Every day, except Wednesday (when I wrote only 50 words), I’ve recorded at least 1,000 words. I’ve squeezed in time on an admin task. The narrator finished Of Dolphins and Desires, so I’ll be uploading the files to all platforms this next week. My daily writing habit is on a 7-day writing streak. And if I recognize it, joy is right here with me. What do you find in your moments?