Is it possible to have joy always, even amidst pain, suffering, darkness and downturns?
But we must understand that there are two perspectives of joy. One is the temporal view and experience of joy, and the other is the mystical or spiritual view and experience of joy. But it is all joy, and we would do well to learn in each dark or light moments of life to count it all joy.
Nature is an excellent teacher of all matters of life if we but take the time to observe and ponder. The natural seasons offer examples. Consider springtime growth amidst the detritus of autumn’s dying back and winter’s decomposition. There is a process of dormancy in trees and perennials [plants that survive winter and return to bud and bloom year after year], and annuals that may reseed but often require human intervention of purposeful seed planting each year.
Some die, young and old, for various reasons known and unknown. Others thrive beyond all odds. And so it is within our daily lives that we experience the cycles of nature: of life, of dormancy, of renewal, of life refreshed, along with the gradual, cyclical decline of bodies. Yet there is hoped-for increasing spiritual maturation and comprehension of love and joy. We need spiritual understanding of joy in order to endure the darkness that clouds our temporal ability to recognize joy in all matters.
Last night Joyful Hermit watched the moon as it lit the black expanses beyond self and this world. Do we realize most great experiences of the soul, of love and joy–as we peer into them–occur in times of physical or personal darkness?
It is all perspective, truly. At a glance, the dark seemingly overpowers; but brought into closer view, a touch of light, minuscule in comparison, can alter everything in an instant. It is through periods of darkness that we can learn very much to find the pinpoints of joy. We learn that joy is in all cycles of nature, of our lives, if we but change our perspectives and understand that joy exists, more meaningfully, spiritually, in black stillness and night.
Spring reminds us even on cloudy, cold days that life repeats itself in the joys that are seen and unseen. Like a robin bulging with eggs, perching with a view from a branch-point that we cannot share, we still can learn to observe and discover in each of our life situations the type of temporal joys that we know so well.
Yet as a robin, detected on its perch knows to take protective flight, we too may fly in faith into trusting that spiritual joy is found amidst the unknowing darkness. This is not despair but dormancy. We discover joy in dormancy because of its promise of new life, always, in one dimensional form or another. Joy recycles in each phase and life experience. Count it all joy!