After yesterday’s rather dark offering, I feel that I owe you some seasonal joy.
TFT style of course, so don’t expect tinsel or anything…
This is a picture of some mushrooms shooting up in a fresh pile of woodchips on our driveway.
Think about that- mushrooms are perhaps best understood as the ‘flowers’ of fungal mycota. That means that this pile of fresh woodchip (chipped no more than a couple of weeks before this) mechanically destroyed to almost-pulp, had already become seeded with spores which had time to spread through the chips and then pop out these lovely ink-cap mushrooms like magic.
Joy seems to me to be like that. It comes to our very core like a total suprise, even in the darkest times. Perhaps particularly in the darkest times.
In part one of this Christmas card, I was trying to desribe the desolation some of us feel at this time of year, and particularly THIS year. I thought it was important to acknowledge this experience because I know that I am far from alone.
For all sorts of reasons (not least, thinking about my late sister Katharine who died this year) I have been very tearful this Christmas. It took almost nothing to reduce me to tears- of course, the usual films and music could do this, but once I found myself bawling whilst on my own in the house for no apparent reason. But the strange thing was that this did not make me in any way immune to joy. In fact, it meant that when those moments came, they were like an explosion of light.
So, whatever you situation, cherish those moments.
Let them cherish you.
Joy is not a bauble
Not a bubble, too soon burst
Never manufactured cost effectively
It is not bought or sold
It is not gold
Joy is not a jacket
You pick from a handy peg, it is
Never something worn externally
It is always a surprise
Joy requires no skill
Its practice is not taught
It is not being ‘happy’ or content
It is just being open, to the
Beautiful and broken
Joy is an ambush
Hidden in plain sight
Wrapped up in the most unlikely things
It often comes with grief, not even
Joy is a squirrel
Transcending a tree
It is music played directly on the spine
You do not need to look, because
It stabs you the gut