TRUE STORY: In 1969 I was happily married with two kids, working for IBM, living in Brewster, New York. I was by myself one evening watching television, not paying much attention. Some lovely waltz music came on so I looked up. On the screen two tall, slender skaters were zipping across the ice. I had never seen this type of dancing. Before long I felt my heart beating faster. Little tears started rolling down my cheeks. I did not understand. Emotional outbursts were rare for me... a tough Brooklyn boy.
This reaction was quite a surprise. I did not care for ice-skating. Why? As you might guess I had had ‘negative’ experiences when I was young. My family moved to ‘the country’ from Brooklyn to Ardsley, New York when I was 10. Most kids ice-skated. Not me. I had never been on ice before. I tried to skate. My ankles buckled every few seconds. I HATED it. I thought it was stupid. Although I was athletic, I could not get the hang of it. I usually stayed by the edge of an ‘ice-pond’ shivering and sneering and drinking hot coco. From that time on only a very pretty girl might entice me onto the ice. By my mid teens I skated a straight line speedily but … try stopping! Crash! Pain! Embarrassment! At 17 I hung up the skates and never put them on again. (I did roller skate however. I could stop on them!)
Forward sixteen years: I was watching two skaters perform something magical on the ice. What can I say? When this talented Russian couple danced on the slick, gleaming surface, the world stopped. The spectacle was one of the most breathtaking things I had ever seen. At the time I had no idea why I was so moved … tears, heart-thumping, joy. Now 32 years later I think I know why my spirit soared. At the time of this ‘moving’ experience my heart was filled with love for my family. I enjoyed my job. I was at peace with my life. And I was very receptive to such stupendous beauty and grace. Two Russian artists who, by the way, were our cold war enemies at the time had performed and I had experienced a profound joy in watching them. Participating in my second child’s birth was my only similar experience up ‘til then.
Fortunately, during the ensuing years, joy has ‘flowed through my psyche’ again and again: Sightings of deer walking gently through the snow, the beauty of a cobweb and its attendant, the countenance of a baby while nursing, the colors in a rainbow, the coming together of an estranged father and son thanks to circumstances I helped create … these always come as a surprise AND a powerful reminder that loving has its rewards.
hope you have had joyful experiences too