Oh, is there no greater joy to be felt than every Easter when we read of the stone being rolled away and the angels declaring, “He has risen!” (Mk 16:6, RSV). As we leave Mass on Easter morning, perhaps the sun is shining on us. Maybe the early birds have returned from their winter away, flitting and calling among the open branches. Some of us may jump over puddles of melted snow on our way to our cars or homes, thankful for warmer days. Maybe you are holding your child’s hand as you walk and wonder how you could make this joyful moment last forever.
Talk About It: How do you carry the light of Easter with you throughout the year?
The Source of Joy
Joy springs from the deep well of gratitude, and gratitude comes from noticing. There is so much about spring to be grateful for … the musical trickle of the melted snow dripping off the roof, the first shoots of green grass, the buds of the trees plumping in the longer days waiting to burst forth when the time is just right. With the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, it’s easy to overlook the beauty bursting forth all around us. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Annie Dillard, a woman famous for her books on “noticing,” wrote, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Let’s choose to spend our days and our lives noticing.
Talk About It: What signs of Christ’s resurrection and new life are you grateful for this spring?
“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.… Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.… Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day” (Mt 6:26-34, RSV).
God asks us to notice the beauty and grace that surrounds us. God asks us to look up and see the wonder that is the life he has given us. Who can help but sing when the warm spring light falls on your face? The end of the dark and cold is here.
Children can be great teachers when it comes to noticing. How many times have you had to stop during an evening walk to watch a worm crawl across your path? Children are the first to spot the rainbow after a storm or the bird nest nestled in the shrub near your front step. Noticing the small wonders makes our lives richer and more magical, and this is a skill that should be encouraged.