Often on summer mornings I sit on the front porch swing, enjoying the quiet and a cup of freshly brewed coffee. But this morning there was something different as I was suddenly struck by how much simple pleasure I had in feeling the light, cool morning breeze on my face along with the aromas from the various plants around my house. I became acutely aware of the sounds of life: a baby crying in the distance, cicadas chirping loudly, young men and women on their morning runs, the swish of tires on the pavement as folks went about the business of the day.
Tears welled up into my eyes as I just sat swinging gently to and fro taking it all in and reveling in the small pleasure of the moment. I became aware, clearly for the first time in my life, that I was in the midst of Joy Itself. As I opened further to this new awareness, my Soulself began to speak quietly, the way She always speaks to me.
“Terry, this is what we have meant by the word, ‘Joy.’ For so long you have been thinking about and seeking the meaning. You thought Joy was a new car, a new lover, a trip to the mountains, a stroll along the beach, attending the next spiritual workshop, or some grand, exciting epiphany. Yes, it’s true these things are “enjoyable” but you know they last only for a time. These simple joys you are experiencing in this now moment are joys that last from each moment to the next.
It is so simple, this Joy. It has been with Us, you and me, forever. We have always been here with you, waiting for this moment when you could once more feel Us around you. You see, when you feel Us, you feel everything. Your awareness encompasses all of Life, just as in our past life experiences as First Peoples. You experience the Earth for She is Life. Life is not just what you call ‘natural’ things. Life is all, even the scent of automobile exhaust fumes that are carried to you on the wind currents.
To embrace life, is to simply embrace everything even those things you judge as bad or wrong or unnatural. Everything is natural regardless of what you think. So many times you looked for Us in other things and other places, but here We were—and here We are. YOU are the Joy you’ve been seeking. Joy that we speak of is the awareness of Now. This is the sweetness of Life. This is Joy.
And so, dear one, let me take your hand and walk with you into Now, into Joy of Being.”
I just sat there swinging, allowing myself to settle into this new and simple Truth. I remembered touching this Joy from time to time and how I dismissed it, thinking there had to be more to it. But there isn’t really. At least not for me. There is such peace and guiet in this Joy. Of course, my mind still wants to question and analyze. But here we are, my Soulself and I, holding hands and breathing Life together.