I recently attended a dance recital of my beautiful granddaughter Elizabeth. She danced like an angel (as only an 11-year-old can).
One of the recital dances consisted of only preschoolers; four little girls dancing to a bouncy tune, I forget which one. Anyone who’s seen a dance recital knows how hard the kids work to get their movements together. Still, one four-year-old girl stood out. Not because she had her dance together but because she embodied pure joy.
I am in the joy business (sculpture is just a vehicle). So, I watch this little girl joy bundle closely. She knew she had to dance with the others to make the teacher happy but, oh my. Her Mom was in the audience! Nothing was more exciting and more wonderful than having Mom in the audience! So, a couple of times, as the dancers moved about, she would break stride to wave at Mom. And then, there were two hands waving. And then she threw a kiss. And then a two-handed kiss.
At that point, she looked around to see what the others were doing and got a bit confused, so she ran to the front of the stage waving to her Mom. Fearful that she would go right over the front of the stage the teacher bolted from the behind the curtain to catch her and usher her back to the others. But still, there was nothing more exciting then Mom in the audience. Following the curtain-bow, she broke from the herd and raced down to the first row to hug Mom and thrill everyone else.
Mom was flustered, the instructor was flustered, the audience was howling with delight while the purest bond of joy flowed like electricity between Mom and her loving young daughter.
Poets, musicians, choirs and, yes, sculptors labor daily to show us what joy is all about; but it took four-year-old to let me see pure joy.
I don’t think I could be that joyful.
I wish I could. I want to try.
Maybe I can approach joy as a four-year-old girl, full of love, energy and delight and lose the gray areas and compromises that weigh down life.
May your life be full of joy.