Glee: Joy, merriment, great delight. Who among us has known this feeling these past three years? Covid has prevented us from seeing loved ones, gathering with friends, meeting strangers. We’ve curtailed business, adventures, travel, exploring new places, trying new things. We want desperately to return to “normal” but a new normal has taken over our lives. One of caution, with more immunizations, more fears and hesitation. Worry accompanies this new normal. Rising gas prices, inflation, daily killings, absurd candidates running for office. Glee seems to have no place.
I remember an autumn a decade ago–picking apples and pumpkins with my young granddaughter on a New Jersey farm. We rode a hay wagon to the farthest orchard and worked our way back plucking Jonathans, Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Fuji, Gala, and Granny Smith. Enough apples for my daughter, granddaughter, husband and I to have for a season in pies, sauces, salads and snacks. Enough to share with neighbors and friends, and those who’d be joining our Thanksgiving table in another month. We added cider at checkout, enough for now and to freeze ’til Spring.
That was glee!
I remember another October day, painting in the south of France–capturing textures of centuries-old buildings with red-tiled roofs, stately palm trees, and meandering paths. I lost myself in the beauty, concentrating on the light and darks in a variety of hues, as my brush swooped across the watercolor block. As I write now, I see that painting, one I could not part with, hanging on my living room wall. I smile. Seeing it brings back into the present that day of glee.
Another October day held special joy. Bill and I married in his mother’s church in Memphis, beginning a new life that continues to be full of happiness, adventures, challenges, humor, wit, learning, growing, loving.
I realize we must not allow any momentary slump–be it contagion or recession or depression–to block our glee. Glee is ours for the making. And for the keeping. It is present when we look for it in life’s daily minutia or memory. It is ours always. We just have to hold on to it. We have to stop focusing on fears and regrets, remembering instead that “perfect love casts our fear. ” (1John 4:18). We’ve a lot to love today–and every day. In loving comes our glee!
About the Artwork: Trois Palmes, watercolor, 36″ x 30″, NFS. I painted this particular scene from the balcony of the home I was renting in Antibes, France one October day. It was exhilarating, challenging, and a labor of love, the result hanging on my wall makes me happy every day.