I had decided on my blog title for this month weeks ago. It was perfect, fitting the season and exciting my appetite to write. It was going to be “something wicked this way comes,” perfect, I know. But, although a journey with spooky Shakespearian characters sounds like the epitome of an autumnal read, life decided I take this blog in another direction.
I love fall, reveling in the crisp air, the hint of pink noses and cheeks many months absent and watching mother nature gradually slip into her most beautiful oranges, reds and yellows. Oh Fall, you are my very favorite. But fall also seems like the most chaotic time in my life. The pace of life instead of mirroring mother nature’s slow-down seems to push harder. We pack just as many activities into our ever-dwindling daylight hours. And, if you couldn’t guess it, I am tired. I have been craving moments of peace and stillness.
And for this very reason, I found a book calling out my name as it sat on our non-fiction bookshelves. “The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” by the 14th Dali Lama, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams is exactly what my soul has been in search of. For this book, Douglas Abrams was invited along to interview and observe the interactions between the Dali Lama and the Archbishop as they came together to celebrate the Dali Lama’s 80th birthday in Dharamsala. Each leader shared their experiences and philosophies surrounding joy, compassion, suffering, humor and more, during their week together. You begin to see how profoundly joyous each man has become as you read through this influential book. And I must say, it is just what the doctor ordered for my evermore chaotic life. As it reminds me to slow down and breath. To take time to continue to grow in compassion and empathy and to always remember the power of choosing hope. In conclusion, how better to leave you, then with a small nugget of goodness to ruminate upon from the “Book of Joy”, articulated by the Archbishop as he contemplated genuine hope. He shared that “(T)o choose hope is to step firmly forward into the howling wind, baring one’s chest to the elements, knowing that, in time, the storm will pass” (p 122).