Ah, my beloveds, we come to your favourite page, after C for cake. It’s J for
Jam. How you watch in mute disapproval when I use the knife to spread jam
neatly across the slice of bread or the chapatti. You’d rather stick your
fingers into the jam jar and lick it quickly off them.
That action, of you wanting to eat jam by the spoonful, if I’d only let you, reminds me of Joy, the J in my book.
No rationing for you. Joy, for you, is as it should be, pure, unmitigated, unbridled.
Joy, mis niños, is an inside job. When negativity or fear clouds your mind, throw them out.
Forget about achieving happiness. That's a tricky shadow to nab. Happiness seems to demand that you should always be suffused in some kind of glow. It has no room for the occasional minor, and major, disappointment.
Don't spend your energy chasing happiness. Don't fall into the trap of thinking, when I have a job, I shall be happy. When I get admission into my preferred college, I will be happy.
Joy does not demand any exotic ingredients from the gourmet shop. It makes do with whatever you have in the larder.
Joy has a big, really big, heart. It can take everything in its stride. It is in the here and now. When my two left feet and I join you on the dance floor, that's joy. When the cake I am baking, rises up and its hearty aroma fills our home, that's joy. When you sit on the swing, shouting at me to push harder, your toes trying to touch the sky, that's joy.
Only the right things, innocent, uncomplicated, bring you joy, because joy comes from God.
And at some point you will realise that happiness quietly sneaks in and makes a place for itself in your life, unable to resist the fun you are having, the joy you are having it with.
My wish for you is that you may live in the moment, squeeze from each moment the joy it bears within, the way a mango bears the pit, and no more. That you may not carry the memory of hurts and slights with you through life. Forgive and forget and move on. Joy hates unnecessary baggage, and prefers to travel light.
Despite all the filth, there is much good here on earth. May you learn to recognise and appreciate it. Watch rainbows, sing songs, believe when you want to despair. Joy will come, more joy than your little hearts can contain.