A Good Home, Nature, The Seasons

! — Oh, Joy!

Did you know?

Our exclamation mark (!) is believed to come from the medieval Latin exclamation of joy: “io”.  

Some clever scribe reportedly put the ‘i’ above the ‘o’!  It became an exclamation sign to denote ‘admiration’, ‘wonderment’ or ‘joy’.  An ancient ’emoji’ icon. ♥♥

Did you also know? The exclamation mark didn’t have its own dedicated key on standard manual typewriters before the 1970s. Instead, one typed a period, then backspaced, then typed an apostrophe above it. 

Joy and Other Words For It in Italian and English

la gioia: Joy, delight, enjoyment, rejoicing, glee, mirth

il gaudio: Happiness, joy

la delizia : Delight, joy

la felicità:  Felicity, joyousness

la letizia: Joy, happiness

il giubilo: Jubilation, joy, glee

la contentezza: Contentment, gladness, joy, cheerfulness

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As you can tell — I’ve been thinking about joy.

The absence of it – a thing to be dreaded, as I well know – but mostly the heart-filling presence of it.  Joy.

Blog Photo - Autumn Leaves Early

Blame it on the first days of Autumn, a season which — at least in its early appearances — brings me a bitter-sweet feeling of happy anticipation and hovering loss.  

Winter has its joys.  Quiet joys, like a walk in a wintry forest. 

Blog Photo - Cardinal in Snow

Or Advent, the 24-day period of anticipation before Christmas.

Blog Photo - Christmas -Advent Calendar

Advent summons a slow and certain joy, a reflective joy, one that grows as it approaches its destination — the big, jubilant joys of Christmas.

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village church

Spring makes me want to jump for joy.  The giddy celebration of Winter’s end; the sight of new shoots and flowers, the urge to thrust hands into the earth. It’s a barely-restrained joy, a can’t- wait-to-see-what-will-pop-up-from-the-earth-next kind of joy.

Blog Photo - Crocus in Spring

For some, Summer’s joy is the thing.  Outdoor activities like walking, swimming, paddling; visiting with friends.  The delight of being on holidays.  Sitting outdoors in a garden, perhaps reading a book  — or not.  

Blog Photo - garden Sept 2018 chairs and pool

One feels no guilt at being idle. La dolce far niente, as the Italians say. Sweet Idleness. Or: “La gioia di non fare nulla”. The joy of doing nothing. 

But Autumn: Autumn is in a class all its own. 

Blog Photo - Autumn Leaves CU

That awe-struck joy I feel when I stand in the woods, looking at the sky through a curtain of red, gold, and orange leaves.

Blog Photo - Autumn Trees 2

When I look down at the same colours on the forest floor… interrupted only by the grey-brown of tree trunks, or a rock, or a squirrel. Or me, kicking my foot through a pile of leaves and watching them fly. 

Indoors, we pull out the old Hudson’s Bay blanket.

Blog Photo - Old Blanket

We light the first fire.

Blog Photo - Christmas 2016 - Logs Burning

We make the first Autumn soup — butternut squash and apple — and the first pies.

Blog Photo - Kitchen Pies on Table

And then the first big family event of the fall: Thanksgiving dinner. The joy of extended family, together. 

Almost always, someone says: “Let’s take a drive to see the colours!” We pile into cars, happy and excited as small children on a Sunday afternoon drive.

Blog Photo - Autumn trees and Driveway

Joy.  That thing that fills the heart to bursting, the thing that makes me pinch myself in wonder.

Wonder, astonishment, and gratitude, at the familiarity and newness of it all. That the earth can be so beautiful, so glorious, and that I am so fortunate to live on this planet, in this place, at this time.

!

Photos by Hamlin Grange

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A Good Home, Caregiving, Health, Life Challenges, Love, Relationships

Flowers for Those Who Care

Blog Photo - Flowers for Sister Yellow Lily

Blessed are the Caregivers

Who love and tend us in rough times.

Pay attention to the Caregivers

They give much to others, but who takes care of them?

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Blog Photo - flowers for Sister Yellows 1

Blessed are the Cared

Tended and loved by the Caregivers.

We would be lost without them

And their great faith that we will heal.

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Blog Photo - Hollyhock Mutant

Comes a day, unexpected,

When the Caregiver becomes the Cared

And the Cared becomes Caregiver

Two grateful souls reflected in each other.

Blog Photo - flowers in glass vase mixed

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Dedicated to our friends David and Sandra, and to Natalie Scarberry, whose inspirational blog tends her readers’ spirits. You’re all in my prayers. 

A Good Home, Celebrations, Family Moments, Happy new year, Inspiration, Poetry, Wisdom

A New Year

Blog Photo - New Year's Poem Birthday Cake

We measure a year in months and milestones

Birthdays and other anniversaries

The goals achieved, honours received

And various victories.

Blog Photo - New Year's Poem Sunset

These things we dream of, yearn for, live towards

The dates forecast in calendars

And marked off by celebrations

Of our lives.

aunt Rose with her son, great niece, and great-great niece

I wish you all that and more.

Blog Photo - Garden - Butterfly on Mint

But when I wish you a happy new year

I know there will also be struggles

And challenges and dirty dishes

Because this is life.

Blog Photo - New Year's Poem Maple Leaves

And so I wish you:

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Laughter

For when things turn out crazy

Blog Photo - flowers with alium closer

Faith

On days of loss or disappointment

Blog Photo - New Year's Poem CR Thinking

Wisdom

In times of uncomfortable change

Blog Photo - New Year's Poem Hydrangea in Rain

Delight

In the small things, not just the big ones

Blog Photo - Doggies in window

blog-photo-dawson-up-close

Gratitude

For the gifts you have and will receive

blog-photo-simon3

Photo by Hamlin Grange

Hope

For tomorrow and the morrow after

Forest Tunnel

Health

To do the things you most enjoy

Blog Photo - New Year's Poem Skiis on Snow with Trees

Blog Photo - New Year's Poem Cyclist

Blog Photo - Playing guitar 1

Peace

In the fact of your humanity.

Book launch cynthia and rev claire

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Dedicated to my Family, with love.

**PHOTOS COPYRIGHT OF HAMLIN GRANGE**