Three-quarters into our stroll and I finally feel my head start to clear. The air felt so good on my face that I decided to raise my sunglasses and allow its coolness to enliven my still-sleepy eyes.
I tend to be a bit of a sky-watcher and looked up. Without the distorted tint of my sunnies I copped an unexpected delight - the morning sky in its most beautiful blueness.
A smile washed over me. It was the happiest blue I'd ever seen. And then I smiled even bigger - not just with my lips...with my heart.
Could this be joy I wondered - that feeling that many of us reserve for special occasions; that feeling that we don't dare to really feel because it brings up fear; that feeling that we feel we don't deserve to feel.
It's come up for me before, joy, quite recently actually - I was seeking some advice from my sage on how to manage the difficulties I have felt around writing. I went to the cards, and this was one that I drew...
I was curious about joy and how it could help me. I looked it up in one of my favourite books - the Oxford Australian - and besides it being explained as a vivid emotion of pleasure, there were two key words that hit me, so much so that I wrote them on my whiteboard...
I realised that even in times of uncertainty, joy can be present. We can still feel extremely glad ; we can still experience pleasure. Joy can happen. It doesn't have to be saved for special occasions, nor do we need to feel like we've earned it. It can strike at any time, and when it does, we need to do with it what we're meant to do with it - feel it.
Just as I did this morning.
When I looked up and saw that happy blue sky I felt the energy of pleasure in my body. I felt extremely glad. I felt joy. And it felt wonderful.