Today I had already experienced two new joys when I saw the bumper sticker “Wag More Bark Less.” I was so enthralled, the other things will have to wait. Granted it’s a tagline for Cloud Star (all natural pet products), but it seemed such good and joyful advice I had to pass it on.
Let’s show enthusiasm for all of the joyful goodness God has built into the world! Can’t we show joy as well as a dog? And what if we refrained from barking criticism and anger?
Wag More Bark Less. I’m going for it.
There are so many opportunities for new beginnings: a new year, a birthday, a child’s birthday, the start of a new season, or even the start of a new week. With my younger child turning 13 it feels like the start of a new era for both of us. There was certainly nothing wrong with the previous era, but I’m finding joy today in the possibilities inherent in any new beginning and my freedom to begin anew anytime I choose.
As part of my son’s 13th birthday party, I took him and his friends to a real-life college Quidditch tournament, offered free at university nearby. When it comes to joy, I feel I almost don’t have to say anything else. “Muggle Quidditch,” like its wizard namesake is light on rules, heavy on fun, the right mix of ridiculous and serious competition. It’s a joy to watch.
Even better though, was when they invited the kids, including my son and his party to team up against the host team in their own game. How awesome when turning 13 to be included with the college kids and get to play a magical sport.
And this was only part of the celebration my son deemed the “best birthday ever.” Really, isn’t that what each birthday should be for each of us?
I turned on the radio this morning today to hear, “Welcome to Friday! You made it!” I made it? What does that mean? What did I make it through? As I pondered I realized, “You made it” could imply endurance and survival or achievement and celebration.
Like so many things, it’s my choice to decide.
Have you ever noticed how beautiful the trees are in the winter? Without any leaves, they display their mind-blowing array of branches. The solid, sturdy branches define the structure, but alone they would be empty and bleak. Instead, they’re wondrously balanced with smaller and smaller branches leading to the tiniest delicate twigs that make the tree inviting rather than intimidating.
Imagine if we were willing to be similarly transparant, displaying our strength and our softness in equal measure, balanced and able to bring beauty even in the starkness of winter.
Crossing a busy Boston street today, a cabdriver stopped so I could cross. There was no traffic light or stop sign or even crosswalk to demand he stop, yet he stopped anyway.
Now, cabbies aren’t known to stop for much of anything and they have good reason for that. Time is money for them in a closer connection than for most other jobs. The faster they end one trip, the sooner they pick up another fare. One more fare can be a big increase.
Yet today, the driver made a decision that letting me cross was worth the moments it cost him. He chose me over money. It made my day.
Working in downtown Boston, I see cars, taxis, bicycles, and walkers crowding the streets to and from work each day. Today I saw a guy commuting on a unicycle. The single large wheel, the need to grasp a lamppost when stopping, the general silliness of it all made me wonder about this completely normal-looking man and his choice to make his own way. Just by expressing his originality and freedom, he brought joy to a total stranger.