It is a beautiful morning here in Indiana...I am sitting in the sunroom, drinking coffee, listening to the sound of the wind in the trees, watching the patterns of light and shadow move on the floor and wall. Peaceful, relaxed, enjoying.
Sid the cat has another idea. His idea of joy is a good healthy scratch on the head, between the ears. In fact, he'll climb into my lap and do quite a few calisthenics in order to achieve his goal. He flips around, he butts my hand (holding a full mug of coffee) with his head. He looks at me and meows. He's very persistent.
At first I resist. I want to sit quietly and witness all the beauty going on around me. I don't particularly feel like being bullied from my reverie by a three-year-old cat.
And yet, as I watch him persist, a little bud of admiration begins to smile within me. He really is a remarkable cat. And what an honor that he would choose me--choose my lap, choose this moment, need my hands--to help him find his joy. I give up my idea of nonmovement and pet his head, and he pushes his face into my hand, smiling and purring loudly. I have never seen a more appreciative cat. I laugh and continue petting.
I realize after a moment that I am experiencing joy, too. It is not the peaceful, introspective awe kind of joy I was feeling before Sid moved into my lap, but it is a rich, full, connected joy that comes from participating in the joy of another and knowing you had a part in making it possible. It is interesting to me that one kind of joy makes me want to avoid contact (because I will have to leave the quiet spot of wonder I have found), while the other joy draws me into contact (often, perhaps because of my introverted personality, against my own preference). How nice to realize that there is joy along both paths--and the one that is not my natural choice may be even richer for me because it draws me into relationship.
May you experience joy within joy--inwardly and outwardly--today.