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Moments of Joy
May 25, 2014
It is interesting how our perception of life grows and changes. As a younger person I felt that I would ‘get there’ someday – there being ‘happiness’. It would be a state of being. It would involve developing the kind of relationship with my mate that I had always dreamed of, and owning the sort of home in the sort of place that we had always hoped for, with all the stuff in it that we always wanted. It was a dreamy someday place, that I believed in for many years.
The weirdness of believing in someday is that it keeps moving as you approach it. Kind of like a mirage – “I’m nearly to the end of the rainbow, it’s right there, just ahead, oh boy, I’m gonna jump on that pot of gold, it’s almost in my grasp...” – but it never is. Weird.
I don’t know when it hit me, but I realized that someday is now. The notion of living in the now is a topic that is all the rage, ‘now’. Tee hee. It is a concept very much talked about in our current zeitgeist.
I was taking my dog for a walk today, on this glorious, opulent May day, everything bursting with green. We were among all the new, clean, bright greens that emerge each spring. I saw new ferns, new grass, new shoots coming up, beautiful new-made green leaves unfolding on trees, blossoms adorning trees of every kind, lilac bushes heavy with their delicious fragrance, fluffy white clouds proudly puffed up in the sky. I felt the lovely sweet May wind, and the yellow sunlight pouring down, and a downpour suddenly soaking everything. Yet, as we walked, I was lost in thought.
Meanwhile, my dog had her nose to the ground sniffing everything with incredible interest. Suddenly she was anchored to a spot and would not move as she smelled something important and delicious, and attempted to eat it, or lick it, or pick it up. My entreaties of, “Come on, girl!” were not nearly as enticing as the next delicious scent she found in the next square foot of grass.
All this is to merely refer to the ‘now’, and how often I am not living in it. I spend time on Face Book – clearly way too much time. I post photos of my family, well aware as I do so, that, gee whiz, we look like we’re having fun. And we are. At least for that moment. The camera, of course, doesn’t record the moments of impatience, of being pissed off, being late, being out of sorts, being picky, or anal, or snarky, or all the other states of being we humans have a habit of being in. We stand smiling, our arms around each other’s shoulders, and we smile, and the moment is over.
I have so many photographs that I look at, remembering the day, or more specifically, the moment the photo was taken, and I’m so glad I have them. There were so many moments with my parents or brothers when cameras were scarce, or pictures didn’t turn out, or we didn’t have flashbulbs! (Oy, remember those? Or FLASHCUBES!) And then we had to remember to mail the rolls or cartridges of film to a developing place, and wait weeks to get them back, only to find out that they didn’t come out as well as we’d hoped.
And all of that fuss, to remember a moment. A moment of joy. I open a card or a letter from someone I love, who loves me, and I read the message and it’s a message of love, and I smile or cry. I see an animal doing something sweet, and I smile or cry. I eat something delicious and it makes me happy for a moment. In fact, that just happened to me. We ate breakfast in Burlington, Vermont, in a restaurant called Penny Cluse. I asked the waitress about the origin of the name. Cluse is the owner’s last name; Penny was her dog. It is located in a cool old building in Burlington, decorated with homey furnishings.
I ordered bacon and eggs with french toast. When the platter was set in front of me I was overwhelmed with the fragrance of french toast made with beautiful home made bread, seasoned with powdered sugar and cinnamon. I mean it was a “WOW” platter of food, so beautifully presented. I felt like the food came from a farm where everything had been well treated. I almost couldn’t get over it. I kept commenting on it until I must have made a pest of myself. Still, that was a moment.
There are so many. Looking into the eyes of my newborn babies, and watching them grow up. Moments when my heart and my husband’s heart really met and resonated, and we sat looking at each other thinking, “Wow, you know me. I know you. We are so lucky.” And myriad other moments of joy with friends, or reading books, listening to music, watching movies, looking at art, walking in the woods or by the ocean, or driving through a gorgeous landscape in snow or sun.
The someday that I once imagined has transformed into noticing the day today. Sometimes I don’t remember that tuning into the moment is what I want to do. Sometimes I get depressed, confused, distracted – or I waste time, space out, or am otherwise unproductive. But there are days when I tune in and I see what is around me. I notice it, I feel it, I hear it, I see it, I touch it, I smell it, I taste it. And I am so glad to be alive, in this body I was given, with my family and where I live, at my age, right now, with everything I have right now. It’s something I can access any time that I decide to, and I can have it now, and I can have it someday too. We all can.
Indi, experiencing a moment of joy during her first winter, 2007,
taken by Grace Brown
Other images of Indi, age 7, May 2014, taken by me.
Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.
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