A Gentle White Noise
“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” ~Karl Barth
It is a sunny, Sunday morning in chilly Toronto.
The world is caught in the third wave of the coronavirus and Ontario is back in lockdown.
It’s Easter and all is silent outside my door save a few cars on the highway. Usually a constant hum, the traffic is no more than gentle white noise this morning.
But on this quiet morning, under a clear, bright sky, there is at least a brief respite from the endless COVD containment: I watched my grandchildren hunt for Easter eggs outside their home in Maryland just moments ago.
It reminded me that spring is in the air, and—on this day especially—new hope in my heart.
For thirty-three minutes, through Facetime, I was able to join in their exuberant joy, my son patiently holding the phone while his children, wife, in-laws and dog ran around the yard, scooping up eggs left by the easter bunny (but strategically hidden by my son at 6:00 am).
What I heard:
“Peyton, over there! I think you might have missed one.”
“Maddie, look up! There’s one!”
“Divot (the eight-month-old dog), no! Drop it!”
“Peyton, let your sister get that one.”
“Divot, come here! Divot! I said come here!”
“Jen, just let the dog run!”
“Peyton, did you check the gardens?”
“Divot, no. Divot! No! Sit, Divot, sit!”
What I saw:
A lot of green grass and blue sky as the phone undulated in my son’s hand around the yard. Sometimes, I even saw the kids.
Mostly, I saw the dog, who could feel the family’s joy and reflected it in his playful dashing about, snatching up eggs, thinking it a great game when my daughter-in-law attempted to catch him.
What I felt:
Mostly, I felt grateful to live in a time when the ache of physical separation can be alleviated through electronics, be it e-mail, texts or phone.
Mostly, I felt glad to be alive, to have eyes to see and ears to hear—and family to love.
Divot reminded me this morning of the glory of sharing in others’ joy.
Even if you don’t understand where the joy comes from, or why your humans are expressing it over silly, brightly coloured plastic spheres, spheres you’re not supposed to help them pick up—it can be felt.
Because joy is infectious. And it’s hard to sit still when it bubbles up.
Think I’ll make joy the gentle white noise of my life.
It’s such an easy way to feel alive.
“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” ~Eleonora Duse