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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Finding Joy in This Very Moment is Good Enough

My challenge for today was to write about a moment of joy I had experienced today.

After spending much of my day doing genealogy research, I decided to watch Oprah’s Australian extravaganza in hopes of seeing something that I could say was a joyous moment. I loved seeing all the beautiful Australian sites. Truly God smiled when He formed Australia. But I wasn’t awe struck.

I loved the special guest moments with Oprah. For years I have dreamed of having my Oprah moment. My dream moment was meeting her while hiking in Telluride, Colorado and Oprah telling me she had read my book and loved it. I don’t know why this experience was so important to me. Maybe to get that affirmation from someone who seems to be socially valued and who values others as well. Maybe it’s the excitement of chatting with a celebrity about the challenges of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) families. Maybe it’s a little of both. But the Telluride dream is something I can live without and it doesn’t consume my everyday thoughts. I have learned that living a wholehearted life is to purposely find a joyous moment and to take that moment in with your whole heart, mind and body. Finding a joyous moment isn’t always easy to do.

Then today when I saw Oprah and a few of her loyal TV friends walk to the top of an Australian bridge, it totally blew my socks off. It was the most breath-taking risk I have ever seen her do. I thought to myself I have done some risky things, like go to the top of the St. Louis Arch and feel it sway. Or ride in a rubber raft down a Colorado River hanging on to the raft ropes with all of my strength, but Oprah’s bridge walking experience tops it all.

Indeed, Oprah’s bridge walk topped my most joyous moment of the day, until I looked out of my living room window and saw a juvenile Redtail Hawk swoop across my backyard close to the ground as if it was looking for prey. Momentarily I stopped breathing, as I watched the hawk perch itself high upon a limb in a neighbor’s cottonwood tree. Then I heard myself exhale with a huge “aaaah-h-h-haaa.”

I alerted my husband about this unusual occurrence. We both looked out several windows to see if we could get a better look at this gorgeous creature. Then within several seconds, the hawk flew up into the grey clouded sky and out of sight. I then realized that I had forgotten all about Oprah’s Australian bridge walk still playing in the background; waiting for the helicopter pilot to take their momentous picture.

I looked out my window for the next couple of hours to see if the hawk returned, but it didn’t. I knew then that my joyous moment would not be repeated today. The sheer joy of seeing a hawk in flight is good enough.