Saturday, 17 January 2015

Exploring Joy

Hello there!
I was wondering if you would like to tell me about what joy means to you?
I've done a bit of exploring and pondering myself over the last week or two and I have come to the conclusion that joy is really rather elusive. I have to say, I really do, that lots of descriptions & explanations are just plain odd and rather intangible.
But, I get the feeling that joy should be something wonderful, an energy, an emotion that draws us in with warm welcoming, open arms...
and says to our hearts "What a pure, simple delight it is to be alive".

  I find happiness to be a gentle friend..
and peace, a kind of restful feeling,
but sparkles and sings.
I think that joy maybe a soul-mate to wonder.
Nina and I decided that these pohutukawa "needles" may, in fact be, fairy matches.
What do you think?
I don't have much call for the complex & the grand, these days...
stress & struggle don't really serve any of us well.
Pretty & whimsical bring me a soul-nourishing happiness,
and my garden flowers, both pleasure
 & joy..
This Waterfall begonia revels in sunlight.
Joy can sometimes arrive by surprise.
Like on Christmas morning when I was startled to realise that there was a park bench sitting in my garden! Dear man had re-made it's seat (to fit the salvaged ends) & carefully hidden the bits from me as he went along..quite a feat!
To me a garden is a miracle of creation,
holding within it's fertile, loamy womb a self-perpetuating and everlasting gift of a myriad miracles; some evident to the open eye, some disguised in obscurity;
all enfolded in the gifts that are called seasons...
The colours, shapes, textures
and sheer abundance astonish me.
Our summer is now full-blown, with roasting hot days & just-a-sheet-covering, very warm nights.
So a few days ago, knowing Rob would be melting at work, I gathered some picnic things together
& a picnic tea
& off we went to the river, as soon as he got home.
Our favourite spot at Sacred Hill...
 So cool & tranquil & green.

 Katie Daisy
Dear, sweet katie daisy.

I don't think that joy is found so much in the rushing, the busy whirl of a stress-filled life. 
But sometimes, it does pop in with happy serendipity, like the three delightful Lower Hutt visitors, that came back to find plums at the gate & ended up sampling elderberry tonic & kombucha, just half an hour ago. What a lovely joyful encounter!
So please do tell me more about joy, dear friends.
Thank you for your lovely visit.
Much love Catherine x0x0x


  1. Another feast for the eyes with your delightful photography.................Joy for me is making sure I notice the beauty all around us. joy is being at home, appreciating all I have. It's the simple things that bring the most joy, you know a new bloom, an unexpected surprise, a friend taking time to listen to you, a conversation with a stranger and they say you made their day by taking the time to stop and chat........this and so much more is joy!!

    1. Thank you for your kind comments Leanne. I love your reflections of joy, thanks so much for sharing them with me. So, joy also encapsulates gratitude & kindness; which in themselves bring connection. Lovely! Much love Catherine x0x0x

  2. I love this post, so much of your beautiful garden to enjoy - enjoy! isn't that THE best word! I think I am going to update my resolutions with a word to focus on and this is the one! Joy for me is moments when I am taken by surprise - quite often the woods/nature bring the moment - some small thing of beauty or an act of kindness generate that feeling and when it arrives I feel loved, blessed and content all at once.

  3. Hello Betty, your kind comments are so welcome & treasured...thank you! Isn't that funny...I've never much thought about the word enjoy before..enfolding joy with in...brilliant! I adore your reflections of joy. Thanks so much for sharing them. Yes, joy is often quiet or even sneaky perhaps so we don't startle or block it & spoil the moment & it's enjoyment. I am going to take notice of the next time I feel joy & be mindful of the loved, blessed, contentment that so often comes with it. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  4. Joy can be found in the simple things like going for a picnic tea with hubby after a stinking hot day. Gorgeous photos as always.
    Anne xx

  5. What a lovely thought provoking post. I am not so much a gardener, but love nature and birds especially. My ' joy' is often found walking through a deserted wood and just listening. Or opening my back door in early Spring to hear the birds sing. As a mum and grandmum my joy comes with the hugs of my children and the smiles and giggles of my grandsons. And when my man comments about one of my latest makes, that's brilliant he says, but then you are! Love, family, nature, what more could bring so much Joy. Thank you so much for sharing this post, it emphasised how lucky we are to experience joy. And by the way I love the fairy matches! Jenny from the freezing cold UK. X

  6. My husband & I are in a small group Sunday School class that meets once a week. Last week we talked about this very question, 'What is joy?' so I've been thinking about it quite a bit this week. For me, I believe it's a gift we accept from God, even when things are very hard He gives us a peace that carries us through the hard things. It's not the same as a feeling of happiness - that depends more on circumstance. I do think it's a difficult thing to grasp because there are such very hard things in life. But I do think it's possible to have through Christ.

    What a sweet gift from your sweetheart! He did a beautiful job on your bench & what a fun surprise. :)

    Is the wheelbarrow full of blooms in your garden? It is luscious, just beautiful. As always I love seeing your garden.

  7. Hello Catherine, such a gorgeous post to enJOY this morning with a cuppa :-) Thank You, it always brightens my day when your posts pop up. Hmmm I have read all the above comments & I have to say I agree with them all. Like Leeanne, I have been trying to find Joy in the small simple things ... like yesterday watching a monarch butterfly in the garden outside my dining window. Also seeing a frog on the stones in my pond, knowing these things are getting rare in our country bought me such joy. Waiting for & then seeing the lily flower in my garden, yes the simple things. I was speaking to my stepson about the tin of tea they gifted me for christmas & he told me they had to hunt it down on the internet to find a supplier, I felt such joy that they had gone to all the trouble. Just simple kind gestures that lighten the heart. Your post is beautiful, the photos sooo very gorgeous. Your garden chair is such a thoughtful wonderful gift, how lovely of dear Rob. Your garden is looking lush still, not dry & crisp like over this way. Have a wonderful week my friend, Love Julie x0x0x (p,s planning a picnic this week myself, a surprise to my son & his wife in their lunchbreaks)

  8. For what it's worth, Catherine, the values of beauty, truth and goodness (Plato) have been on my mind a bit since about Christmas time when I suppose I was wondering what really matters. Closely allied to joy, don't you think? And funny that I didn't know you were pondering joy when I commented that your Dartmoor Valley picnic and photos were joyfully beautiful! There's joy in the harmony and beauty of nature enhanced by your shared pleasure of a picnic created out of your finely tuned eye for beauty and your sense of wonder. (Anna)

  9. Oh Catherine it was you that made me aware of serendipity . My Natalie Saies-Allen and Charlie Saies-Allen have both posted their goals for 2015. Serendipity and Joy are so closely linked with my deeply felt appreciation of creation and discipline.I think in songs and so enjoy visual symphonies like your abundant display overflowing from your wheelbarrow.Thank You Catherine xxx (Denise)

  10. Aw, that summer looks good, GK! How nice to have a river picnic in the evening! The food looks so good and fresh. Very Wind in the Willows, I say!
    I think joy is gratefulness and choosing life! Yay!

  11. Love the photo of the fairy match nest but I see wands not matches. Joy to me is when you are so happy you tingle and for me that happens at the most unexpected times ,such as when you are watching a leaf dance in the wind.

  12. Catherine that was beautiful. My joys are simple these days. Love the life you live and live the the life you love.
    Your frock you wore to the wedding is gorgeous.

  13. I haven't been blogging for a few weeks but coming back and seeing your gorgeous pictures is joy. Your garden is so stunning It had lots of love.
    I also loved that river, the best place to have a picnic
    Nature is my biggest source of joy but there are many
    poetry, making pictures, reading, playing with children.....There are so many delights in live

  14. Oh, Catherine, this is absolutely one of my most favourite posts of yours. I love how you capture that feeling of joy being so fleeting. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. {The photo of the bench with the ribbon on it made me cry so much; just imaging his joy at making it for you and all the joy it will give you both, sat there enjoying your garden, it makes my heart happy, happy, happy}....we've fallen by the wayside with the emails but am hoping we can reconnect! Helen xxx


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