The mountains and the valleys of joy . . .
Thank heavens for the little joys of life. Yes, we all have epiphanies when our world suddenly turns up-side down, but those moments are few and far between. And you say yours come often? Come on, don’t kid me, for most of our lives are spent on ground level and life would be dull if it weren’t for the bright moments that I call God’s Little Extras.
Little joys, coming often and lifting us over many a weary time.
It’s awesome that we have our Peaks but we shouldn’t underestimate the small joys that are mole-hills compared to the Mountains, but just the same, fill us with joy. How about the unexpected shared laughter with some stranger, along with the unplanned meeting of your eyes, and for that moment, you are not strangers? A letter from a dear one. Crisp clean curtains framing shiny clean windows. New fallen snow untouched by foot step, shovel, or plow. A smiling child running to you with open arms.
Oh, begin recalling your own, but I go on. Seeing trees you planted, now stately, tall, and sheltering your home as you long ago dreamed they would. And for the moment you’re one again with the loved one who helped you plant them.
Watching the moon cast its silver spell over a familiar landscape and recalling watching the same magic with a loved one who is no longer with you. But the two of you saw that magic, while standing right in the very same spot where you stand. Tears come, but so does joy.
Sitting at the dinner table and suddenly really seeing each one and realizing how blessed a moment it is. A commonplace rite, but something to savor and treasure when they’re older with their own lives, and then bring their precious wives or husbands with them, and added joy, the beloved grandchildren who follow. All at your table, and the decades of changes pass before you like a TV show, and you feel that loved ones who have died, are also with you again.
Life’s Little Extras. Casually staying at the table long after the food is gone, listening to good talk tossed back and forth, and you see deeper into their lives than a million questions would reveal. They open a door to their lives, and you know it’s a favor given, not a right to demand. God’s Little Extra? Yes, and to be remembered forever.
The joy, when, after short friendly chat with a stranger at the local coffee shop while waiting for your de-caf to get made, and when you get to the Pay Counter, find that he also paid for yours.
There are times when the world is dark and you think happiness will never again be yours. But then, one day your eyes are opened and for the moment really see that the sun still rises and sets, and you, no longer ‘blinded’ by routine, as we sometimes are, again really see it. God’s Little Extras that pull us over the deep chasms that illness, distance, death, or divorce can bring to our lives.
You see that children still run to you. That shared laughter is still precious, and letters, email and calls from loved ones still arrive and bring an inner rush of joy. And you’re surprised to see that, as you age, new friends, new relationships, new ideas, new hobbies come, and each bring new joy to you.
Thought God had forgotten you? Well, don’t try to tell me such nonsense, for just as the Mountain Peaks are God’s Gifts, so are His Little Extras that shower us, but so often don’t even look for much less, really see.
For me, keeping my eyes and heart open for those Extras, makes such a difference. Remembering that as we change, our Mountains also change, and just as we ‘know’ there are no more high Peaks for us, we glance up and there, dropping right into our lap, eyes and heart, we shiver as we experience another Mountain. And large or small, they are all God’s gifts. Just for me, and for you.