Gratitude and Joy

Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy.  Meredith Grey

But I think it does.

My son and I were discussing joy yesterday. How do we put joy in our life? How do we identify what gives us joy? One way, I think, is by presence in a moment of our lives and having gratitude for that moment. Perhaps it is in the everyday occurrences of our lives that usually go unremarked.

I could tell myself that I drove many hours recently. I could be tired and bit cranky about the repetitive drive – done twice in two weeks and anticipated again within the next two. I might describe the journeys simply as trips to see my granddaughter row in a regatta one week and my to watch grandson play Lacrosse and to spend some time with family the next. I could dread the next six hour round trip to watch 15 minutes of track events in two hours. Ho hum…

Or I can share the excitement of high school granddaughter as she pushed through her exhaustion with her team to win two medals.

I can look at her mothers’ proud faces and get breathless in sharing their daughter’s success.

I can feel the gratitude of being in the room with my grandsons as they banter and laugh. Exchanging stories of stunning plays and hard-fought goals in the game.

I can luxuriate in the joy walking to breakfast with my grandsons and granddaughter…standing in the rain waiting for a table…loving the silliness and profundity of their thoughts and conversation.

I can breathe in the beauty of my son and daughter-in-law, dressed for an charitable event, laughing and a bit proud of themselves as they leave for the evening.

I can savor the sushi with my daughter and college-age granddaughter as we share our concerns over issues that span our three generations without clear hope of solutions in the next. I can appreciate that these women of my heart and my blood walk in the world with compassion and without blindfolds.

I can sit next to this same granddaughter as she has her first-ever Tarot card reading and is described exactly as she is: bright, compassionate, well-meaning, innovative, kind, adventurous, and ready to take on the world.

Walking to breakfast with daughter-in-law and son and being grateful for the sunshine and blossoms and companionable company as they talk about their lives – their work – their children, and comfortably share this time with me.

I can love time with my daughter…drinking tea and sharing joys and sorrows equally. Savoring the pleasure without needing anything other than being together.

Driving a few miles out of the way to join my sister who has traveled over an hour for the sheer joy of seeing each other and spouting all of the sister secrets that have been saved up for months.

I can look forward to seeing my grandson dig deeply into his stores of energy to run and jump to split seconds of his own accomplishments and those of his teammates.

The immense gift of spring…walking, driving, gazing, seeing the greens, yellows, pinks and reds bursting out of the winter into a glorious landscape.

Maybe gratitude has everything to do with joy if I take the time to experience it in my life.



  1. Let me just add that Gratitude for the people in our lives whether blood or otherwise. The last two days have been of great joy to me because of people. One from my childhood and eight others from a quarter of a century ago. Yes, my cup runneth over! What else can give joy at my age?


  2. Reminds me of one of those signs you see in Hirons: “If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart.” xxoo


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