Season of joy

Published 8:00 am Friday, March 17, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Springtime, for as long as I can remember, has been my least favorite season of the year. I love the winter cold, the fall breezes, and the summer beach trips. Spring? I either want cold or hot weather, sunshine or rain, shorts or pants. 

I’ve spent most of my life greatly disliking March, April and May because of my severe allergy to pollen, but this year, despite the runny nose and sneezing, I’m learning to enjoy these months.
This year, spring seems a little different.
I think I’ve opened up to the damp mornings and the way green leaves are more vibrant after a rainfall. I’ve enjoyed the warm afternoons and cold nights. I’ve liked to spend my evenings writing by the window and seeing all the trees start to blossom. I’ve liked waking up early and seeing the sunrise.
Dear Diary: I’m in a season of my life where I’m learning to embrace things. Things like springtime. Things like my style in clothing. Things like wearing make-up or not wearing make-up.
I wrote in my last column about my childhood self and learning to embrace the kid I used to be. Today, I’m sharing with you, once again, something along those lines.
I spent Sunday evening flipping through my old diaries I kept as an 11-year-old, then I found the photo album I kept as a young teenager, stocked with pictures of all the bullseyes I had shot with my bow and arrows. One of my diaries encompassed the following information about the life I’d detailed for myself: I was to grow up and be a trapeze artist in a traveling circus; I was to retire in Ireland, where I’d buy and live in a lighthouse; I was to write a novel and use that money to travel across Europe; and then, I was to spend Christmas in my hometown.
It was a diary full of ambitious dreams and desires (not to mention my short story about a snow mermaid who lived in a frozen lake).
Maybe this season, I’m learning to love widely and deeply, which means learning to appreciate the things I never did. In fact, it reminds me of when I was a kid shooting arrows at the bullseye and not letting all the pollen stop me. I’d spend my afternoons outside but suffered that night, surrounded by tissues, eye drops and an asthma inhaler.
The older I get, the more I’ve found that joy does not come in the big life moments, like getting your first big-girl job, publishing your first book, or even seeing the Empire State Building for the first time. The joy in all that is writing a newspaper article that makes someone smile, holding your novel late at night and thinking, “I did this,” or standing at the foot of a skyscraper and appreciating how small it makes you feel.
My dearest diary, child-like joy is the only kind of joy there is, brought to you by none other than the Lord. Without Him, there would be no such thing as true happiness. His freeing love makes me feel like a fearless child again, seeing the beauty in the small moments of life.
Readers, I encourage you today to be a kid again and find that joy that adulthood overtook. It could be as simple as picking up your old bow and arrows.

P.S. Happy springtime! Pollen or no pollen, let us not waste this beautiful season indoors.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox