On my professional travels with a colleague, we typically listen to podcasts as a way to decompress on the ride home. This past Monday, he introduced me to the TED Radio Hour via NPR, and I was reminded of the simplicity of joy in this podcast including speaker and writer, Ingrid Fetell Lee.
She reminded me that happiness is a big-picture emotional state–a synopsis of how life feels based on a variety of factors and over a period of time. Joy, however, can be found immediately, in the present, if we open ourselves up to the world around us.
I stepped outside yesterday evening to take the dogs for a walk at dusk. That is the last feeding time for the birds at my feeder. Instead of focusing my mind on the chores I needed to be accomplished or the minutes I needed to walk, I stopped for a moment and closed my eyes.
I listened mindfully for a moment. And there it was. A symphony of song.
I couldn’t name all the birds I heard singing, and it really didn’t matter. It was a moment of pure joy to hear those tiny creatures serenading our neighborhood before bedtime.
My prayer practice this week is to hold this podcast close to my heart and be intentional about seeking joy. A warm cup of tea waiting made by my love. A rosy sunrise brightening the world. A silly dog playing hide-n-seek under the bed covers.
All of these things reminding me that the challenges of this world cannot shadow the healing work of Creation.