“Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.”
“Mrs. Lowes! You have to come!”
The call was urgent.
I hesitated. Was this the ‘someone is down and needs medical attention, so come-quick-double-time-hurry’ sort of urgent?
It didn’t seem so. I turned, uncertain.
“Come! You have to come see this!” Another child joined the chorus. Mittened hands were fluttering wildly.
This had to be good.
The trek was challenging. The snow, deep, caving and settling with early spring sunshine, didn’t hold adult weight very well. I awkwardly plodded after the littles, who floated across the tops of the rotting snowbanks effortlessly.
“Come on! Hurry!
‘Hmmm. This might be right up there. Maybe it’s a dead bird! Maybe it’s two!’ I speculated as I trudged through the snow.
The giggles and chatter increased in both speed and volume as our journey continued. I perversely had a silly thought.
‘Are we there yet?’ I smiled at the irony that was completely lost on my wee guides.
We rounded the corner of the south end of the school, and there it was.
“Look! Look! Real actual grass!”
And so it was – a small patch of brown turf, partly drowned in meltwater from the snowbanks surrounding it. It was no bigger than a hearth rug, but there it was.
Real. Actual. Grass.
No biggie, you’re thinking. I’ve seen plenty of grass before.
True. Very true.
But in this case, I immediately understood the emotion involved. With the amount of snow we’ve been inundated with, the fact that there was actually a spot snow free, a place where we could see terra firma, was sweetly significant.
I joined in. I whooped and did arm pumps and hooted and hollered with the rest of them.
We had a wee impromptu Real Actual Grass Party right then and there. Our shouts of joy were genuine.
I love how littles rejoice so readily at every beautiful simple excuse they find, with all their hearts, responding in real time to whatever strikes them as worthy of a hoot and holler.
We could learn a lot from littles.
I mean, the sun rises – and sets – with stunning regularity, yet not a one of us could ever make it do so. It just does. Seasons change – wonder of wonders – and on we plod with as much joy as a wet noodle.
It takes a lot to make us smile some days.
And there are my littles, screeching and dancing over a square of dead grass.
How long has it been since you stood in awe of one of the works of God?
How long has it been since you were inspired to let out a shout of joy?
That long, eh?
Yeah. I was afraid of that.
But to be honest, if I hadn’t been invited to a Real Actual Grass Party recently, I wouldn’t have been shouting with joy as recently as this week, either.
I’m learning. I’m watching my wee ones and learning. I’m seeing their willingness, their dedication as it were, to joy. And I know that we adults have a long way to go before we become as willing to giggle with abandon as a little can.
Perhaps, if we learn to stand in awe of the works of God – from the worm on the sidewalk to the scent of pine in the forest to the sunset behind our closed blinds, we would be closer to this elusive joy. Perhaps, if we spent time in God’s presence, we would be inspired to shout with joy more often, to dance in the rain, to see the wondrous, amazing, incredible gift that a patch of grass can be.
Learn to find joy in the small things with me?
Father, how lovely it is that Your wee ones enter into joy so readily as they see and appreciate Your good gifts! Remind us to allow our eyes to be awed by all that we see. Help us to open our hearts to Your good gifts enough to be blessed by joy. Amen.