Letting joy in

I was on a walk on a very gray day in the middle of what had felt like a long very gray winter.  Tired of feeling grumpy, I put on my coat and took myself out on a late afternoon walk to enjoy some daylight while it lasted.

I followed a familiar street where it gets a bit quieter and filled with inviting trees.  As I walked, I began noticing little things that made me smile like tiny spring bulbs sending up bright green shoots and a neighbor wearing an excellent pair of colorful pants.

Photo by  Antonio Ron  on  Unsplash

Photo by Antonio Ron on Unsplash

I began to feel a little lighter and noticed a bounce in my step.  As I continued walking, I stopped in front of a huge tree in glorious bloom with tiny pink blossoms.

At that moment, I noticed a hummingbird buzz by and stop to drink in the flowers.  I noticed a warmth spreading through my heart and felt incredibly lucky to see a hummingbird on what seemed like such a dreary gray day.

Then I noticed myself think, “This is beautiful, but it won’t last, hummingbirds move so quickly.”  And although it just seemed like a fact, I noticed a sinking feeling in my chest and thought “this won’t last, maybe I should go home.”

Then something unexpected happened. As I stayed and watched, the hummingbird didn't just disappear like I thought it would.


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I let my heart to soak in the the sight of this tiny buzzing hummingbird as it diligently explored the blooms on the tree and hovered from bloom to bloom, taking its sweet time and drinking all the nectar it had to offer.

If it could talk, I might imagine the hummingbird would say something like, “What if you just let yourself feel this and delight in the beauty of this moment, fully?  What if you let yourself be excited and joyful without needing to do anything to earn it or make it stay?”

And as I remember that moment of full blown joy, I also want to give that part of me who was afraid that it wouldn't last a big hug.  I'm proud of her for not just turning around and going straight home.

My wish for her is to open her heart to both the good times and the not so good times, knowing that she gets to feel whatever she is feeling fully--whether it's good, bad, or something in between.

I’m so glad I paused that day and really allowed myself to feel that simple moment of joy.  

And I wish that the next time you find unexpected beauty or good news or your encounter your own persistent hummingbird drinking nectar, you get to let the joy in fully.