Tiistai 20.2.2018
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Blog: Joy is like the warming sun

in English 12.8.2017 06:51 | Päivämies-verkkolehti
I have been happy to notice that mornings are no longer quite so dark, and that evenings are also getting lighter! The spring sun brings the light that we have so much yearned for. Light makes days brighter and also brightens the mind. 
The sun warms us, it awakens hibernating people to become active again: to battle the dust motes dancing in the sun, to plant seeds, to grow flowers for their yards and gardens. I have noticed that the spring sun makes people bubbly and enthusiastic, eager to renovate or decorate their homes and, when the sun shines really brightly, to dream about the summer.

There are also times when it is difficult to see the light and joy of the springtime. There may be sorrow, sickness, loss. There may be financial problems, work pressure, or unemployment. Joy may be buried under loneliness and failure. A sequence of long and dark autumns and winters may fill one’s mind. One may feel too distressed even to accept friendly words or gestures. Without joy it is difficult to find the purpose of life in general or the particular significance of one’s own life, or to see oneself as unique and important.

No-one can manage on their own, especially when life weighs heavily on their shoulders. We sometimes even need professional help. Yet each one of us can bring joy into our own and our neighbors’ lives. We often find joy in small things.

I have found joy while enjoying a relaxed moment with a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning, when I have felt that there is no time pressure, when my family members have been happily chatting away, of when I have otherwise enjoyed a moment of peace and quiet. We may also find joy in busy everyday life, in our feeling of energy and ability to accomplish things. A toddler’s smile and soft cheeks may bring us joy. A moment set aside for a dear hobby will bubble with joy. Joy may be found in the smell of clean linen, a piece chocolate cake halfway through a busy day, or a good book. Joy may enter my home along with colorful tulips, my favorite music, or a friend’s warm hug. A brisk walk outside, a tidy home, or a small nap also bring joy.

And there are even more causes of joy: a handsome row of shoes in the hall, shirts of many sizes hanging on the clothes line, and sometimes even a kitchen sink loaded with dirty dishes. Joy may follow from a sudden insight in a study project, a successful accomplishment of a work assignment, or an unexpected encounter with a friend in the supermarket.

It is important to nurture joy. Joy gives us energy, it makes us able to enjoy life in ourselves and around us. It is important to take care of ourselves and our dear ones, so that joys are not blown away by the wintry gales of life or buried under the burdens of everyday life.

Joy can be shared. Friendly words are like the springtime light, smiles are like sun rays, and loving thoughts warm up minds numbed by the winter cold.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Text: Hanna Kalliokoski
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen

You will find the original Finnish blog post here.

Toim. Toivo Määttä

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