I never met Marlene, but her words landed in my heart with a resounding WHOOSH! Her message reached me in an unexpected way, as I walked in a beautiful wildlife refuge. Before stepping on the trail, I set an intention for this walk – that I be open to and grateful for the messages that I would receive from Nature as I walked. The fact that it was a cold, damp and windy day meant that Dave and I were among the very few people on the trails. Seeing, listening, hearing, smelling, and feeling the surroundings, my senses were hyper alert. I noticed and felt so much of the natural beauty that surrounded me, and another source of inspiration, too.
Recently, it seems, the wildlife refuge installed benches at especially scenic points along the trails. These benches bear plaques with inscriptions beginning with the words “in loving memory” and ending with a message meant for those whose memory is commemorated. Two of these messages seemed especially poignant to me… Walk in peace … Rest in light.
Then, farther along the path, there was a plaque in loving memory of Marlene, but rather than a message to Marlene, there was a phrase that appeared in quotation marks, which signaled to me that this was something that Marlene often said to those who loved her, “Don’t postpone joy.”
I literally laughed out loud when I read Marlene’s advice, having begun nearly two months ago but then abandoned (or shall we say “postponed”) a blog post entitled “Rediscovering Your Joy.” My goal had been to encourage others to find reasons to experience joy — to notice the gifts of nature, or to laugh, sing, dance, play, or do anything that helped them smile.
You are waiting for the “but” – that bridge that so often links an intention with an explanation of inaction. I was not feeling very joyful two months ago, so it felt disingenuous to suggest that others rediscover or reconnect with THEIR joy when I was not rediscovering or reconnecting with my own.
Marlene’s words reminded me to get to it, to free myself to have some fun. Later that same day, in an ice cream shop, the young woman running the store asked a question that made me laugh again. A little boy had just asked her about a new flavor and the young woman responded with a question of her own, “Try it, or go for it?” To no one’s surprise, the child responded, “Go for it!”
With sincere gratitude to Marlene, and to the boy and young woman in that ice cream shop, I commit to GOING FOR IT! I will not postpone my joy!
Photo credit: © Yuryz | Dreamstime.com