A funny thing happened this morning. As dozens of kids were slip sliding down the ice and snow, squealing their little heads off, there was a man in a minivan skidding uphill. Every time he revved the engine, his front wheels spun and screeched. No concern for the dozens of kids sledding past; he was on a mission.
This went on for a few minutes, until a few teenage boys from the neighborhood grabbed kitty litter to "salt" the road with. We laughed and shook our heads as they passed by, pushing all their weight into the still struggling minivan. With one more stubborn VREEEEEET! he was off and moving up the road.
Now, imagine that from the terrorized viewpoint of onlooking parents. Not really an occasion for laughter, right?
Yet, the kids were all immersed in this slap-stick scene: a grown man unable to maneuver his own minivan to the point where it involves "the stuff the cat poops on". They clapped and cheered as he drove off, without one nod to the imminent danger they were in just a few minutes before. When other cars would attempt the hill, they'd respond the same. Every time it was awe followed by cheering, then back to sled races with their friends.
I wonder when it happens that we all start worrying so much that we shrug off that part of ourselves which craves joy.
As we move into the second month of 2014, I hope you're claiming joy despite your circumstances.