I spent one summer during college working at Mass General Hospital. I was a research assistant investigating the riveting world of probiotic yeast and its role in prevention of infection with Shigella. In short I crushed up cells and ran Western blots all day, not really my idea of fun. Yet, all in all I loved Boston. It was absolutely beautiful, young, and breath taking. I walked to work everyday taking in the picturesque window scenes and stared at that gorgeous golden dome every night on my way home. I would get up every morning at 5 AM, but the streets were not desolate, but filled with other running enthusiasts. I had a route that took me down by the Charles River and then by the hospital. I then would head home by running up my favorite street in Beacon Hill -Joy St. The thing you should know about Joy street is that its name is an oxymoron. Joy Street is one of the steepest hills you can find in Beacon Hill. I would huff and puff as I ascended the hill. My legs burned as they cried out in pain with each step I took. Yet as I reached the top I truly was left with a feeling of completion. Sweat dripping down my brow- I realized that Joy St was appropriately named, because the only emotion I was feeling at the top of the hill was joy.
Yet, I have a really hard time describing the word joy. I usually just recognize it when I see it. Perhaps this is why I love the holidays so much; because joy is all around. People are so stinkin' happy. We have time off to spend with people we love. We sing Christmas carols like Joy to the world. We give without the expectation of receiving. We watch kids run and play in the winter wonderland around us. Yet, in just a couple of days we will start to see the joy fade like fog over the lake. It will dissipate as we begin our busy lives. The school work returns the demands of work knock on the door. I am one of the biggest culprits of losing my joy. I have been so mopey over the last couple of days complaining and whining about how I need to work out more, no one loves me, and my future is pretty much a grab bag. How do we repeat the sounding joy? Where does it live and how do I channel it.
I argue that joy does not change, it is just our ability to recognize or accept it. I find joy in the silliest of places. The sunrise, the elderly couple sharing hot cocoa, and the children building a snowman outside. Joy is here to stay, I just put on my rose tinted glasses which distorts the image. I sat down to write this blog yesterday night, after being down about my current state of affairs in the love department. I fell asleep and woke up this morning to finish it. I usually have a Dove promise with my coffee after breakfast( trust me this brings lots of joy). So here I am drinking coffee and I open up my little morsel of goodness. As I unwrap the chocolate I read the dove promise message inside and smile. It reads Joy to...you. Thus, this is my wish for you as you continue through the long months ahead. Joy to you....then repeat.