“How are you doing?” a neighbor asked.
“Right this very minute I’m doing great,” I answered, laughing, “In 15 minutes, who knows?”
Robin’s egg blue sky, happy Sadie walking beside me not running crazy, laundry almost caught up – chaos wasn’t walking with me in that moment.
Sunday morning church, a savory beef and mushroom stew in the crock pot, a blustery soccer game, lemon-yellow buttercups that I’d planted swaying – and an impromptu date with my husband. I’d wanted to take photos of the Bradford Pear trees and a patch of crocuses around town. I knew if I waited – the impending snow might delete that opportunity
“Now?” he asked, watching a little March Madness but he drove me, walked with me, patient with my photo-taking – and then we grabbed a bite at our favorite restaurant, a little Cajun place where we could watch a little of basketball madness while trying to figure out the artist singing 70s songs piped in for ambiance.
A day of joy-catching – I don’t think I’ve ever experienced 24 hours of straight joy. To count it joy only if it’s in a long stretch is to diminish joy – and to diminish my life through review – and, well, really impossible – for me, at least.
If Joy-Catching moments could be stitched into a story-quilt, I would want the pieces to create comfort, warmth.
If Joy-Catching catching is the sight, sound, taste, touch and smell of my word story, I want my story to be joy-filled.
If my story were a glass, I would want it to be half-full to over-flowing – not half empty.
In the middle of my dog-walk, the leash broke. I met a Redbud Winter.
Everyone dressed, walking out the door to church, the littlest remembered he couldn’t find his soccer jersey, which he needed right after church. A Dogwood Winter in the last-minute turned a Sunday morning calm upside to find the errant jersey.
Friday, I was driving home from work, feeling joy just rise up inside me – that wonderful feeling of anticipating good things – and I held on to it, savored it, let it just burst into bloom – because I realized that maybe in 5 minutes a Blackberry Winter might roll through – a house full of children promises a crop of chaos.
Tomorrow morning’s forecast suggests a Whippoorwill Winter might be in the making if I don’t stick to the time schedule chocked full of before and after school activities.
I remember a few years ago, our house selling – oh, what a high. After work, I drove by the house we were going to put a bid on that evening. A Pending sign covered the sales sign.
Dr. James Dobson in his book, What Women Wish their Husband’s knew about Women, said that for every high, there is an equal-measured low. That pending sign took me to the lowest low.
The joy is there for the catching, in the face of the storm, in the storm’s midst – and in the aftermath: joy – just there for the catching. If I don’t catch it, the tenor, the texture, the words, the fullness of my story changes.
Sunday, I pulled out my camera to joy-catch Bradford Pear Blossoms. These 23 years I’ve lived in Tennessee, when the Bradford Pear blossoms burst out under a strengthening, the mercury climbs into the seventies only to back down in the face of unexpected frosts, ices and snows. A Bradford Pear Winter has the potential to steal away the blossoms.
“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace (Ecc 3:1-8).
. . . . and on the eve of a Bradford Pear Winter, there is a right time to Joy-Catch.