Joy . . . a word we hear quite often during the month of December. We wish each other a joyful season, we sing of joy, and we see the joy on children’s faces. But, what about the rest of the year? Do you actively seek joy when things don’t seem to be going right, when you’re hurting, or during bleak winter days?
What is joy anyway? Joy according to the web is “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying.” Synonyms for joy are delight, bliss, gladness, jubilance, and gaiety.
Joy is a pure physical sensation in our bodies. We jump for joy, we double over in laughter, and we squeal with delight. When we feel joy, we feel more confident, capable, and lovable. We feel good about ourselves.
I know how to find joy. All I need to do is spend time wandering in nature and seeking the unexpected. When I find something unusual, I am filled with joy. I smile, I giggle, or even laugh out loud. I’ve been known to do a little happy twirl now and then, too!
Let me show you some examples of nature that brought joy to my heart.
A little frog trying so hard to hide from me.
Red and green lichen, the colors of Christmas, found on an old piece of lumber.
Early morning frost.
And, the latest joyful find . . . a gnarled tree. I'm sure you're wondering why this tree trunk would bring me joy. Look at it again. It may only look like a gnarled tree to you, but to me it looks like the face of a camel and it made me laugh. Who knew I had camels in the woods behind my house!
I won't be be printing any of these pictures and putting them in frames. That's not why I took them. What I wanted was to record those little moments of joy. I didn't want to spoil that joyful moment setting up my tripod, fidgeting with the camera dials, concentrating on the right composure, or the right aperture to get the perfect background. There is no law of photography that says every picture must be taken on manual and must be perfect. If you think that, you might be taking the joy right out of your photography. Trust me, I know all about that! My pictures are for me and if an imperfect picture brings me joy or memories of joy, then I've accomplished what I'm seeking. In 2017 I will be printing my joy pictures and placing them in an album of joyful moments. It should be fun at the end of the year to look back through them.
As we end this year and look toward 2017
my wish for you is that you find what brings you joy
and that you seek joy every day.