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  • C.M. O'Slatara

The joy Grabber

Updated: Mar 2, 2023



One of my kids I call my joy grabber. She has a unique ability to take a moment of joy presented to her and immerse herself in it-- no matter her mood. Maybe she's angry, but then she sees a spider making her web and she is caught up in the beauty. She sets aside her anger and allows herself the joy of that moment. That is an amazing emotional talent.


I am a firm believer that in teaching, so do we learn, and in raising children, so do we grow. My child's power to not waste the beauty of the world has been an incredible thing for me to witness and sometimes I've even had the grace to do it on my own.


There was a day when we were running late and we missed the bus. In order to get the kids to school, we had to walk to the old store and wait. It was bitterly cold that morning and the wind was strong. I was being a bear of a mom, grumbling about my horrible fate in having to lug two kids and a toddler out to maybe catch the bus. On the way there, we spotted some golden eagles in the dawn sky. They make a stop by the farm twice a year on their way to other places. I have read they are called golden eagles because they have some tawny feathers mixed in with the brown. But I was to learn, in that moment, grumpy and shivering, that was not the real reason.


The sun was just rising and as they flew over us, the light hit their wing feathers and they shone like gold. It was brilliant and dazzling and nearly blinding. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen or will ever see again. I let myself be taken in by it, knowing I would never have witnessed it if we hadn't missed the bus. Everything else melted away and I was caught in that radiance. I was grabbing the joy, just as my child taught me.


Certainly, we will not see magnificent things like that every day-- but every day there is beauty of some kind-- dew bending down the grass, a sunrise like pink fire, the song of coyotes over the hills. There is something to grab onto. So grab it. Be there for it. Allow yourself the joy.

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