Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Just Keep Chugging November 9, 2014

All aboard! I hear that a lot in my forever home these days as children’s television frequently features choo choo trains as my forever mom calls them. There’s even this one channel I’ve taken to watching with dear baby Carter occasionally that features a choo choo train song every couple of hours. It encourages the little people watching to get up and dance to the music. Though I’m not sure my little person understands those words, he’s always had a thing for music.

Dance, dance dance, mom will say, and he will jiggle and wiggle his little self all over the place. When he does it is honestly like the world stops and there is nothing but the silliness unfolding in the living room. It’s especially entertaining when he hears certain songs, like what they feature on the choo choo boogie or whatever its called.

Fearsome Foursome

Car ride to the dog park? Joy.

Well all of that became very real for Carter today as he journeyed with mom and dad to something called a train show. I don’t know much about these things, but I can only assume two things. There were trains. And there was dancing at the sight and sound of them.

It all got me to thinking about my music. About my trains in life, if you will. We all have things that make us tick, that keep us going, or that fill us with such exuberance that we can’t help but dance for joy. For me, its pretty simple. Time at the dog park, or on a car ride, or in my backyard paradise tend to do the trick. Time with my beloved family? Well, that’s a given. But laughter? Humor itself coming alive like it does when Carter does his silly little jig? That might be one of the most precious jewels of joy I’ve come across in life.

“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers,” suggested American comedian Bill Cosby. “And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”

Now it’s my turn to say the words. All aboard! I think its due time (assuming you haven’t already done so recently) to reevaluate our joys in life. What are the things that keep us chugging along through the challenges? Sometimes they might not seem that important, but that is most likely when they’re most important. We need to identify these things and embrace them for all they’re worth, because I believe we have them for a reason. We have these things not just to survive, but to live.


A Moment of Magic October 31, 2013

I don’t believe in magic. Not in the traditional sense at least. The whole now you see me, now you don’t idea? What fun is that anyway? But I will never forget the day I discovered a different kind of magic.

To the rest of the world it was Halloween. To me, it was Jo’s eighth birthday. That’s all that mattered. I had been living with her and the man with the leather belt for a few months, and had seen my fair share of things I still wish I hadn’t. But this was a day to remember for all the right reasons.My Kind of Magic

This was the one time I ever witnessed Jo and the man with the leather belt happy at the same time. I was surprised he remembered the day at all, since he was usually pretty forgetful about basic things like having anything besides frozen pizza and beer in the fridge. But alas, he surprised us both. After dinner (he actually cooked something), he got out a pink cupcake with a single candle on it and sang happy birthday to her. I sat by her side, proud and humbled to share in such a special moment. Then he gave her a present. It wasn’t wrapped (it was still in the Toys ‘R Us bag) but that was beside the point.

It was magic. Literally. He gave her a 100-peice magic set. “I had one when I was about your age, so I thought maybe you’d like it,” he told her. She loved it. They spent the next few hours experimenting and doing something I’d never seen them to before. They laughed together.

That was the real magic. Magic is in moments like these. Moments brought to life by a power within us to believe. “Magic flows through us,” Sarah Ban Breathnach writes in Simple Abundance, “mystery infuses every encounter of every day…You have no idea of the countless lives you touch in the course of a lifetime.”

My life was touched that day by something special. I may not believe in the hocus pocus kind of magic, but that day I became a believer in a whole other kind of magic entirely. I became a believer that the power is within us to live this magic in our daily lives. To find and embrace moments of pure joy is a magic all its own.