Posted: April 11, 2013 in Blogging from A to Z Challenge
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I wish I could share some of my husband’s pictures here.  Perhaps I’ll incorporate them into a future post, after we get home and he does all that photo-y stuff like resizing.  I’ll use a lovely picture of Laurel Falls in GSMNP that I found on Wikimedia.By Zhans33 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I reference this spot because being in nature is something I enjoy, something which brings me joy.  The waterfall also impresses me as a metaphor for joy and how we experience it.  Real joy has the power to inundate.  It can overpower, submerging an individual in feelings impossible to describe.  It can affect other aspects of our lives and even touch other people.  When I reached Laurel Falls and stood in front of them, I felt an immediate drop in the air temperature.  I was not wet from splashing water; instead, the temperature of the space I entered had been changed by the influence of the Falls.  I also noticed how the stone had been hollowed out here and there by the erosive power of the water.  These depressions held water that had splashed into them or washed over them.  Some people, I believe, have the ability to do the same.  They can store joy, and while new floods may overwhelm them and refresh that resource, they always manage to store some for dry times before it runs on down its course.

Earlier on the trail I had come across a grotto.  It was beautiful, cool and refreshing.  The water that carved it out of the side of the hill did not flow over the edge of the outcropping that formed the roof of the little cave, but from the “ceiling” itself.  It was water that had seeped through the surface and done its work underground.  It made me wonder how many people experience joy in that way–not as an obvious rushing of emotion, but as a slow drizzle beneath the surface, a flow of joy that is not stored but is constant, if understated.

The water, and by virtue of our metaphor, joy, is no different at the two sites.  At both places, its power is apparent.  It is only the manner by which that power is manifest that is different.  This made me consider more how I experience joy and what I do with it when the moment has passed.  I hope to have many opportunities to ponder the question.

I would love to hear what brings you joy, and how you experience it.  If it’s too personal to share here, I hope you take some time to consider it privately.  Something else to chew on: can we initiate joyful feelings or do they only appear unbidden?

  1. Lucy says:

    Wow, I have never thought how experienced joy or if I stored it up. This post really made me think and ponder.

  2. Chontali says:

    I love picturing “joy that is not stored but is constant…” Aww, to have THAT kind of joy! What makes me joyful is meeting goals and having hope that my unmet goals will come to pass in the future. I believe wholeheartedly that we should try to initiate joy as much as we can. Why wait on **life** to give it to us when we can find our own joy by doing what we love and what is good for us? GREAT POST

  3. Wayne Stratz says:

    I so agree that joy fills us from deep within. Love the analogy of waterfalls. Been too long since I saw one. Stratoz goes AtoZ

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