Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cultivating Joy

There are plusses and minuses to late Easters. On the plus side, it’s bound to be warmer, robins (and bunnies of course) are hopping around, and flowers are in bloom. A negative is that Lent is also late, which means evenings are lighter, and attendance at Wednesday evening services at church drops precipitously (hard to get excited about soup suppers when temps are in the 70s). But on the whole, I prefer to wait for my Easter.

You know the saying “life is short, eat dessert first?” Well, short as I realize life is, I’m still in favor of extending the enjoyment of a good meal, with the slice of cake or pie coming at the end, where it belongs. I am in the camp of preferring evening holiday dinners. I recall early afternoon pig-outs (turkey-outs?) at my in-laws’, where everyone slumped in chairs watching TV, nearly comatose, afterwards, only to face Round #2 of leftovers in sandwich form come nightfall. Then came the real food comas. Far better, I think, to spend the bulk of the day hungrily anticipating the feast to come!

Steve and I were married almost eight years before our kids began arriving. On the plus side, we had a long time to focus on each other and our relationship before becoming parents. A negative is that now, when I’m 60, my grown children are only just beginning to produce my grandchildren, and the odds are I won’t live to see all of them grow up. But on the whole, I’m glad we waited to start our family.

Thanks to Lynn and "Cultivating Joy"

 As I write this, Easter dinner is underway (but won’t be served until 6 PM). On my dining table are two absolutely gorgeous bouquets of fresh cut daffodils, tulips, viburnum, and other delicate blossoms. This bounty comes from my dear friend Lynn, whose floral business is called “Cultivating Joy.” It is such a fitting name, as both Lynn and her flowers bring joy to me and so many others. The thing about cultivation, though, is that there’s a waiting period between planting and blooming (sometimes a long one). For flowers, and for joy as well, there is a need for patience. Long as the days, weeks, months, even years may seem, a happy outcome is always worth the wait.

I look back on the attenuated and winding career path that brought me from the theater, through fulltime motherhood, and on to my church work and my writing life. Would it have meant as much had I skipped over the tough stuff, the missteps and mistakes? Tempting as it is to wish those away, in retrospect I needed those experiences to fully appreciate what I have now.

And so, this Easter, I am reaping joy that has been cultivated for a long, long time. Aiden and Peter are loving their “Easter Bunny” treats, and I am adoring them, my precious grandbabies. I wish for you amazing joy, however long and far you may have traveled to reach today.


Joy #1

Joy #2