Just picture this: In the balcony of a historic theater, eight screaming, gyrating ladies-of-a-certain age, whirling in the air above their heads, glow sticks, smiling, giggling, little kids staring at them, while their parents grinned. Got the picture? What’s going on here? Well, let me tell you as one of those ladies swiveling her sticks, I can say to you I was honest-to-goodness elated at a family rock concert I attended in my town.
It dawned on me that I truly felt happy: I felt joy!
The next morning, while I was having breakfast, I glanced out the window and there was an incredibly and strikingly beautiful site: My big (90 pounds, mind you!) beloved tan and black Airedale Terrier, named Bonnie Buttercup, sitting on the grass strew with yellow leaves from my neighbor’s cottonwood tree. A golden light from the newly risen sun shone on her and the fallen leaves.
I grabbed my phone to take her picture and rushed out the back door, wearing my lavender robe and red-plaid slippers and snapped her picture. This is no pun: It was a golden moment.
Scurrying back inside, I viewed the pictures I had just taken. Then, my finger slid over the phone, and I saw pictures from the Fisher Towers hike I had taken a few days before. The architecture of those rocks in eastern Utah is as fabulous as any manmade structures I have seen in my entire life.
Later that day, when I was cleaning out one of my gardens, I came across three eggplants that had not perished in the mild frosts we had had. Then, I found a few red tomatoes and some basil. Well, I was in ecstasy: I realized I could have one of my favorite dinners that night: fresh tomato sauce with eggplant on egg fettuccini.
The following morning, while sitting at that same window drinking coffee and writing in my journal, which I do each day, I realized something astonishing was happening to me. I had been feeling moments of ecstasy – pure unaltered elation – for the past 48 hours or so. “If only I could capture it!” I thought. Well, I knew I couldn’t; but then I thought, “I could put these happy memories in a box. Yes, one of those special boxes that have served me so well over the years.”
Maybe 30 years ago or so, someone suggested to me getting a God Box. The purpose of such a container was to hold pieces of paper with the huge perplexing problems written on them that I had been unable to resolve. “Perhaps, a power greater than yourself could solve them for you, Elizabeth, if you would just let go,” this friend told me. I got a little box and decoratively painted it, inside and out. On the underside of the lid, I wrote “Let go and let God.” I still use that box today. Many of my problems stored in that box have been fixed without my help and many of my problems I have just learned to live with.
A number of years later, another friend told me she had a God Box and she also had a box where she kept slips of paper with notes on them about colossal concerns of hers that had been taken care of to her amazement. “I look in this box, Elizabeth, whenever I am thinking nothing will ever happen or nothing good will ever happen. The memories remind me that things can and do work out, particularly when I get out of my way.” How many times, I reflected, have I felt I was doomed? Then, I remembered how some of these contemplations had actually turned out great. I bought a pretty little green box, lined in velvet, several days later. When I am feeling really overwhelmed or even in despair, I rush to that box, pull out one of the many slips of paper and read it.
I am now looking for a special box to hold all my recollections of moments of joy. Perhaps, I will decorate it with sequins and glitter. After all, it will hold my special jewels, brilliant gems that I can look at whenever life is dull or downright ugly.
Copyright – Elizabeth J. Wheeler – November 12, 2017