Finding Joy

Joy! Sometimes in life people, weather, news all seem to bring stress and sadness. For many, the challenge to escape this darkness is a steep uphill climb, Others seem to have no challenge with a smile, laugh and happy thoughts.  There are moments in everyone's life however when we can make choices which can take us a specific direction, a choice to find joy.  

For me, joy comes from being with the people (and furry people) I love. Joy comes from taking the time to enjoy simple things - things that I often don't enough time to consider.  It also comes from nature and quiet and time away.  

Last week we were preparing for our Farm to Table dinner. This is a great event filled with many things that bring joy- great food, amazing wine, fresh produce and the wonderful outdoors.  However, in the hustle and bustle of getting all of the elements together that make a dinner for 200 successful it is easy to forget the opportunity for joy. However, I tried really hard to fight that tendency to drive forward and was rewarded as a result. Here is the joy I found on my journey.

First, cases of canteloupe in a hot car on a sunny day are the best car air freshener nature has ever made.  The 40 minute drive from the packing shed to the restaurant was not long enough. Music, sunroof open, driving though the fields of green tomatoes and smelling the sweet aroma of fresh melons. Joy!

Next I had to drive north of town to pick up cheese at my favorite farmstead cheese company. The harship was that the box was sealed so no sampling on the way. Bummer.  The cows were watching me with concern becuase I was not someone they knew but they truly were happy cows. I drove past the almonds reaching hull split and stopped at the corn field to look at the view through the stalks.  The light refracting off the green stalks and curving through the leaves was amazing. I couldn't help but wonder what a professional photographer would think or do to get an amazing shot. Joy!

Finally, I headed west to pick up the remaining dinner items. Driving through the almond orchards and looking at the leaves blowing in the light breeze.  The furry hulls of the nuts just starting to turn light brown from their green velvet hue. In a few weeks the hulls will split and the nuts will be shaken to the ground leaving the trees bare, but for now they are whole, nature taking its course and producing great food. Joy.

In this time of busy days, filled calendars, emails coming to our phones we all need to take the time to find joy.  Stop and watch the bees fly, a flower bloom or the corn stalks blow in the wind. Wonder at the beauty of the colors in the farmer's market and bring that beauty to your plate. Joy!

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