When Was the Last Time You Jumped for Joy?

two girls leaping for joy

I sat in the boat and I watched my kids and their cousins leap again and again off the side of the boat and into the lake.  We've been repeating that routine all summer, and it never seems to get old.  Every time they surface, there's a look of joy on their faces and they climb the ladder to repeat it all again.

My routine has been to climb on the floating tube and meditate.  It's a little hard to do when you're surrounded by kids who clamber on the tube and then dash back into the water, leaving me spinning under the sun.  But I cherish every minute of it, because the summer is flying by faster than I can ever remember a summer going by.

We've been sidetracked by storms this year-- the electric was out for several days.  Fortunately, Dad had the foresight to install a permanent generator (thank you, Dad!) several years ago, so Mom didn't have to worry about getting through the heat or losing the food.   The 20-year-old boat has been giving up parts here and there, forcing me to finally put the mechanic on speed dial and supporting him with generous checks this summer.

It's been a heavy summer of dealing with paperwork after my father's death and making sure that my Mom is adjusting to the changes.  It's been a summer of unexpected deaths and some tough life turns for friends.  Still others are dealing with ongoing unemployment and financial struggles due to the economy and plummenting house values.

In the midst of it all, I'm reminded again and again to look on the bright side and celebrate the simplicity of being able to draw a breath each day.  In the morning, I give thanks for what is about to come; in the evening, I give thanks for what transpired from the day.  This simple act does a lot for my soul and grounds me into what really matters.

"Mom, come on," my daughter urges me out of the boat seat.  "It's your turn to jump in the water.  I hesitate for a mere second-- I'm not sure I feel like jumping overboard and getting wet.  But I slip off my shirt and shorts and stand up on the bow of the boat.  The moment I leap, joy fills me up like an overflowing cup and I plunge deep into the water.




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