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Moments of Joy

Last week Friday I left work in the middle of the day.  I asked my middle daughter, who was babysitting, to meet me downtown at 12th and Phillips at 11:45.  I asked the same of my oldest daughter, telling her to bring with her downtown her sense of adventure and her little brother.

They were perplexed. In fact, when Emily arrived, she had that look on her face that said, “Am I in trouble here? What’s the deal? What exactly are we doing here?”

As people began to gather on Federal Courthouse Plaza, the secret got out. I mean, you can’t exactly prevent a whole bunch of little kids from blowing bubbles even before the start of a bubble parade.

That’s right, a Bubble Parade (which, in my opinion, should totally be capitalized to emphasize it’s fabulousness.) It was a parade dreamed up by a 5 year old girl named Emerson with a big imagination filled with possibility. I had to wonder if the Bubble Parade was anything the likes of which Emerson’s imagination had conceived.  When her dad, a gent whose zest for life and imagination and possibility inspires everyone around him, including his own daughter, invited a few people on facebook, he really had no idea how many would show up.  He kind of thought it might be his friend Andy and their few small kids walking down Phillips Avenue blowing bubbles and if so, then so be it! It would be their own grand bubble parade no matter the size.

Imagine their surprise when the facebook event kept growing, and when 180 or so excited paraders showed up, bubbles in hand, joy and possibility in their hearts. Giggles were heard. Photos were captured. Memories were made. Bystanders and shoppers and business people stopped on the sidewalks and wondered and marveled at all of the people simply walking and blowing bubbles for . . . why? For no reason other than for a shared moment of pure, unadulterated joy.

Some of my favorite moments that day were sharing my bubble wand with strangers alongside of the streets, so that they, too, could experience the joy as a participant and not simply as a bystander.  I found that the shared experience created another level of magic, another element of wonder, another layer of joy.  As the parade ended with popsicles for everyone, Emerson’s dad said to me, “maybe next time we should have a cupcake parade!” I smiled.  “Maybe.” I think kazoos would be another great component of an impromptu foot parade downtown.

Today I encourage you to seek out moments of joy, wherever you can find them.  I encourage you to seek out ways to create moments of joy wherever you’re at. Most of all, I encourage you to open your eyes to the world around you and savor each tiny moment you are blessed with, whether it’s tasting a decadent chocolate cupcake infused with ganache, walking in giggly bubble parade or simply taking a cool drink of water on a warm day.  Appreciate it; take it all in . . . for it’s in these small moments which we are creating our lives.

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