The prompt for REVERB14 today is:
How could you make space for joy in the year to come? How could you protect it?
|"I would just like some space."|
I live in a little house. It feels so tiny.
I don't think it would be so bad if it weren't for the extraordinary amount of crap in it. Over the years, we've gathered loads of stuff and you can't get rid of any of it, because "we might need it someday". So my house is full of stuff piled on top of stuff on top of other stuff. And no matter how a person tries to rearrange it, there's still all that stuff taking up space...making everything feel cluttered and messy. Nothing can stand out as special because it's all choked up and hidden by superfluous stuff.
I think that we let joy be like that too. We let it be choked out by other stuff. We hang onto all the thoughts and feelings from our past and let those things clutter up our minds to the point where there's no room for anything else. Joy can't stand out as the precious thing it is because it's hidden by all the garbage stuff that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.
When I was growing up, my family was pretty poor. Not to the point where we went without the necessities of life...but pretty close at times. Every once in a great while, though, my Mom would surprise my little sister and I. Sometimes we'd come home from school and we'd find a little present on our beds...like a coloring book and a small pack of crayons. Other times, individually, she'd let us play hooky from school and we'd get to spend time by ourselves with her, just doing the day-to-day stuff that needed done and maybe go to Dairy Queen or McDonald's for a rare treat.
There were a lot of bad things that happened in my childhood. Like I've mentioned in another post, my father wasn't going to win any awards. We, all of us, had to work really hard to get by. By most people's standards, we didn't have anything.
I don't know if it was something that Mom taught us, or something that a person in that situation does naturally, but having so little taught us to look around and appreciate what we did have. The sky and the stars, the smell of wood smoke (still one of my most favorite smells!), an inexpensive toy, a nice breeze on a warm day, a huge moth on the side of the house, spending time with the people you love...there were so many things that we took note of and appreciated that another person would completely miss.
That ability to notice the little things in life and to find a sense of wonder in them is something that is easily lost to us. And we lose it in the business of more.
We get so wrapped up in all the drama and crap that life flings in our direction...and for some reason, instead of tossing those things down, we chose to carry them with us. And then there's no space in our arms for the good stuff.
In the coming year, I'd like to make space for joy by clearing out the clutter that's blocking my view. And, once I find my joy again, I'd like to protect it by remembering that just because life is throwing crap my way, I don't have to catch it, and I most certainly don't have to hold onto it if it does happen to land in my arms.