Our lives will have their share of joy and happiness

with a sprinkling of sorrow and pain

They will see their share of sunshine.

They will see their share of rain.


At times we will find ourselves in the midst of a joy…

like we’ve never felt before…

when all of a sudden sorrow

comes knocking on our door.


At times we will find ourselves consumed with sorrow…

wondering if it will ever end

and suddenly find joy waiting for us

just around the bend.


Knowing life can change in an instant…

No matter what we plan…

We try to remember to enjoy the joy

every moment that we can.


And when sorrow is a visitor

We try never to lose sight…

how her shadows will eventually fade

In the joyfulness of light. 


Knowing life is unpredictable

always changing

and has no guarantees

we close our eyes

we fold our hands

and we get down on our knees.


We pray that fate or destiny 

or the universe will be kind…

that when sorrow enters our life…

joy is never far behind.

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He often asks himself how she did it…

what subtleties did she employ

to help him find his happiness

to help him discover his joy.

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I have moments I begin to think hatred and pain and suffering in this life are a given

Luckily in the next moment I’m reminded of what a wonderful world I live in.


Yesterday as sadness spread through the world like a virus how was I to know

joy would tap me on the shoulder in the form of: 

an old book, 

an old song 

and a forgotten TV show…


A young couple came into the bookstore not on a specific expedition 

but they found a book they both loved and had to have…it was a first edition.


They hugged then kissed as together they held onto that book

“Smile!” I said as with their phone their anniversary picture I took.


Next in the store came a mother…to her chest she was carrying her child

They stopped to say hello and when the baby looked at me…he smiled.


“His name is Malcolm.” his mother said and I could see innocence in his eyes.

He smiled at me every time they passed me and even as he waved goodbye.


For the last half hour we are open in the evening…I do this religiously

as a nice way to end the day…I play the same soft, smooth CD.


When it began to play this older couple came to me…

the wife’s eyes were filled with tears

“This is the song we danced to at our wedding!” She said ,

“and we’ve been married for 35 years!”


They lingered in the store a while, bought a book and were about to leave when…

I said, “Wait one minute. Happy Anniversary!”… and I played their song again.


A young couple a baby and an older couple reminded me of joy 

and left me feeling high

as they all, on their way out of the store, smiled and waved goodbye….


In case you were wondering what book, what song, what TV show

here’s the answer to that riddle

It began with A Clockwork Orange 

It ended with What a Wonderful World 

And the smile that brought such joy…


that was Malcom in the middle.

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I’ve said this over and over again because I believe it to be true

most of our enjoyment in life comes from the little things we do.


Little moments…little adventures…little wonders

that somehow find a way

to enter into our lives…and brighten up our day.


Like moments found by two thin blooded Floridians…both over 65 years old

on a recent camping trip together…when the weather outside turned cold.


They bundled up and took a boat ride…

they listened to what the captain had to teach

they saw a fort that was built but never used

and watched wild horses running on a beach.


They ate the best clam chowder and crab cakes

they had ever been served

and they handed the waitress who served them

a tip she so rightly deserved.


They stood on the edge of the Atlantic ocean

while a flock of birds circled overhead

they tried the Pirate punch in the oldest bar in Florida

and watched as their cheeks turned red.


They watched three sunrises and sunsets

They saw a family of dolphins perform…

they found when you hold hands even if it’s freezing outside

inside you feel warm.


These little moments…little adventures…little wonders

somehow found a way

to enter into their lives…and brighten up their day. 


Thus proving once again what I’ve always believed to be true


most of our enjoyment in life…comes from the little things we do.

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When we are young…just starting out…as little girls and boys

Why is it important for us to feel happiness and joy?


Why is it important at least one time every day

for a child to feel joy as they run or jump or play?


Because when we get a little older…there may come a day

when it is a little harder for us to run and jump and play…


On these days when we try…but our bodies are betraying

we can close our eyes and remember

the joy we had while playing.


On these days when we try…but our bodies may be slumping

we can close their eyes and remember

the joy we had while jumping..


On these days we will realize something altogether stunning

when we close our eyes we can remember


the joy we had while running.

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There is a wise old saying…an ancient Chinese gem: 

When three people walk together my teacher is among them.


We had a simple dinner with some friends and the first thing I was taught

was if you listen but a little…you’re bound to learn a lot..


I learned a lot about sadness

sadness that our basic foundation seems destined to destroy…

I learned if we are ever to survive that sadnesses

we must discover joy. 


I learned a lot about how the sadness of a natural disaster, 

of divorce

of sickness 

of wars that never seem to end

can be offset by the joy that floats around a table

filled with family and friends. 


I learned in the midst of a sad world

there is more joy than one might think

as I watched the laughter, support and wisdom 

of people sharing food and drink. 


As luck would have it other friends came into the restaurant

It was like a holiday!

They were celebrating their 5th grandchild…

born earlier that day.


I learned although weakness can come from sadness, 

meant to injure, to bruise…to annoy

our courage, our determination…our strength

comes from our faith, our love…our joy.


I learned this simple lesson which I will from this day forward now employ….

I shall not close my eyes to sadness

but I shall open them more…to joy…


Any ancient Chinese scholar sitting in that restaurant would have smiled…

It would have been easy for he…or she…to see

there was more than one teacher in that room that night…


In truth…they were surrounding me.

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While writing the story of his life

when he reached the part where his heart needed mending

how could he have ever known 

she would come along

and write his happy ending.


That she would create his joy

his comfort

would compose his music 

and his laughter

and the rest of the story would write itself



happily ever after.



We thought his rocking horse would only be ridden in the house….

but it was imagination that we lacked….

for he road to castles,

over rivers, 

through the trees…


then to the stars and back.

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No matter what happens in his life…he never speaks of pain

Instead he finds treasures in his troubles and pleasures in the rain.


When asked how he endures his suffering…how so easily he copes  

he answers that he only thinks of love…of happiness and hope.


He thinks of life as an adventure and all the beauty there is to see…

He finds his peace in the kindness of his friends…in the warmth of his family.


He looks at all the beauty in the world…he finds his inspiration in the turtle dove…

for he knows if he’s to thrive in life…he must fill his heart with love.


He says he’s much too busy…to ever speak of pain…

too busy finding treasures in his troubles and pleasures in the rain.


To busy finding inspiration in the flight of the turtle dove...

too busy filling his heart with hope…with happiness and love.


For he knows outward beauty is fleeting…that one day it will depart


and he knows the only lasting beauty…is the beauty in his heart…