Finding Joy…

 In Reflections

“…something shone from that man, a rare thing, joy. It is becoming exceedingly rare among artists of any kind. And I have an idea that those who can and do communicate it are always people who have had a hard time. Then the joy has no smugness or self-righteousness in it, it is inclusive, not exclusive, and comes close to prayer.” —May Sarton, reflecting on a memorial tribute to Louis Armstrong she saw on television, in Journal of a Solitude

Sharon Dunn offers an invitation to seek joy this summer by experiencing more of what delights you. There are so many choices… Enjoy!
Photo courtesy of Julie Bowman.

For Joy
A poem by Jan Richardson
You can prepare
but still
it will come to you
by surprise
crossing through your doorway
calling your name in greeting
turning like a child
who quickens suddenly
within you
it will astonish you
how wide your heart
will open
in welcome
for the joy
that finds you
so ready
and still so

Heeding the quiet voice within to experience God in the silence can sometime seem like such a passive gesture when confronted with living in our current world.  Often joy enters when we least expect it.  While we are reading poetry and scripture or creating life-giving routines in our lives, we are often surprised by the pleasure we receive.

As we find peace within, we find joy in unexpected places.  Stay open to the unexpected.  Find a place to be quiet, connect with nature, be with what nurtures you, find rest in God’s love for you.  Look for joy.  Yes, it will come.

Does it give you pleasure to be in or near water?  Does music delight your soul?  Can movement, whether yoga or walking or other exercise, take you to a place of contented joy?  Can the first light of dawn greet you each morning?  Make this part of your life if you can.  Do more.

Find the small, unexpected ways to bring a smile to your face.  Then take a moment to experience the joy when it comes before moving on.  Savor and delight in it when it arrives.

Sharon Dunn is Eremos’ Spiritual Director and has been part of the Eremos community for more than 20 years. Following a call to deeper training, she joined the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, completing the two-year Nurturing the Call program in 2017. You can find out more about spiritual direction with her HERE. Photo is courtesy of Julie Bowman.

A Child’s View

“Children re-invent your world
for you.”

―Susan Sarandon

Roar of Joy

The Roar of Joy
that set the worlds in motion
is reverberating in your body
and the space between all bodies,
Beloved, listen.
―The Radiance Sutras

A Day So Happy

Fog lifted early, I walked in the garden.

Humingbirds were stopping over

honeysuckle flowers.

There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.

I knew no one worth envying him.

Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.

To think that once I was the same man

did not embarrass me.

In my body I felt no pain.

When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails.


—Czeslaw Milosz, with thanks to Beverly Voss for recommending this poem and the quote above from The Radiance Sutras for our “Joyful July” newsletters.

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