“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge, challenged us to capture joy in one photograph and to share that joy… and then explain it because one person’s idea of joy may be very different from another’s.
I must admit that joy to me is in the small things. My greatest moments of joy come from things other people think are insignificant – I know this because when I try to share my joyous moment people give me that look, you know the one, where every muscles in their face is frozen in perplexity and their eyes want to run away from you.
As a child I spent a lot of my time alone. I made my own company. Sometimes by creating imaginary friends – I knew they were imaginary and they disappeared as soon as someone else turned up. At one point I had three sisters and four brothers (how very balanced), and they were all lovely to be with, though fights did occasionally break out but were soon resolved and love and joy once again returned. And sometimes I would commune with nature.
I was fascinated by tiny creatures. Black ants were my favourite. I liked to follow their lines and see where they were to-ing and fro-ing. I used to crumble up cookies and drop the crumbs in their path. Once or twice I would cover the entrance to one of their nests and see how they dealt with the obstacle, which was usually quickly and efficiently. Very strong and clever creatures. On the odd, extremely odd, occasion I would direct a flow of water at them, not intending to drown them, just wanting to know how they weathered sudden storms.
I was not quite the sociopath in the making, I wasn’t delighting in torturing helpless beings. There is nothing helpless about an ant. I wasn’t torturing them, I was learning about life from them. And I don’t delight in torturing anyone… except perhaps myself. And my cousins, when I was young because we were spies and that’s what spies do, but it was pretend torture, we took turns, and it involved tickling.
One day I was climbing on the framework of a pergola, tightrope walking along the beams, got tired and sat down… apparently on an ant highway. I was lost in the view and it took me a while to notice that my legs were covered in black ants. I reacted very calmly, screamed my head off, threw myself off the pergola and dove into the pool, staying underwater for a while because I had disturbed the local hornets and they were hunting me.
But the creatures which gave me the greatest joy could only be seen dancing in the rays of a sleepy Sun which always has a golden hue. I have no idea what they’re called officially, but they were locally known as Moscerini. Teeny tiny flies.
Those flecks in my photo are teeny tiny flies dancing in the Sunshine on an Autumn afternoon.
I don’t know why they inspire such joy in me…
Is it the flies or the Sun or just the moment. I never thought they were fairies or anything like that. It wasn’t magic, but it sort of was. Natural magic which inspires the natural being within with a feeling that life is uplifting… even if it is just for a fleeting moment, sometimes that’s all we need. A moment which holds the promise of something new in a ray of sunshine, a new horizon we may one day reach, a new thought, feeling… or just…
I don’t know why they inspire such joy in me… but perhaps that’s why. I can’t intellectualise it or even explain it. That’s the purest form of joy.