It is New Year’s Eve. Tomorrow we start a new year, and beginnings are always a time for hope.
And for me, that hope has to start with joy. Joy is the basic energy that lets hope grow. It is the deep-down faith that there IS good in the world, and despite what my sometimes gloomy self says, Joy can be found everywhere. My mother would even say that it is our obligation to find it, and when we can, share it.
The simple pleasure of seeing birds fly or rain fall.
The happiness of feeling a connection between strangers.
Of watching kids play.
Staring at reflections.
So after this difficult, isolated year, I am choosing to go out with Joy, singing a celebratory if slightly goofy tune to carry me into 2021 on a positive note.
So, the other day I was remembering how my Momma encouraged us to deal with sad times by finding things to be grateful for. And then yesterday, coming back from running errands, I found the Gratitude Tree.
This is a tree planted in the parkway at SE 36th and Main Street. I don’t know how long it has been there, and don’t know how I have missed it until now. Indeed, I may have seen it, but since I didn’t NEED it, it didn’t register. Brains are like that.
Anyway, I stopped and had a good visit with the Gratitude Tree. It carries the website http://www.gratitudedojo.com and is covered with Manila tags, which are attached to a rope by thin wire. Hundreds of people have written what they are grateful for and attached their thanks.
These acknowledgements of gifts great and small made me smile. And, like the Grinch, my heart grew a few sizes. Even in the midst of racial upheavals and violence, an international pandemic and incompetent leadership, there is a lot to be grateful for.
I don’t know who has provided our neighborhood with this wonderful way to put our joy and appreciation on display. I wish I did. I would make them a batch of cookies and write them a limerick.
Cookies don’t travel well online, but here is the limerick.