Beauty and Joy, Spleen kicking and First Birthdays

May the Fourth be with you everyone!  There is no try, there is only DO.  (Yoda)

First I have to say…happy almost FIRST EVER birthday Ellie!  A year ago this time I was blissfully chowing down on cupcakes and reading a smutty romance, thinking I had another month to go before I met you, instead of just one day.  You were early, you were tiny, you were cranky, but from the first time I felt you drop-kick my spleen I was in love with you.  You’ve done nothing but amaze and exhaust me since.  You are truly a gift I don’t deserve.
Now to get serious.  More serious.  Seriouser.  I can’t talk about what I want to talk about today.  Someday I will be able to, but not today.  So, mysteriously, instead I will just say that:

Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. – Rumi

I saw this quote in a writers digest newsletter I subscribe to today. (Free, of course).  This quote is beautiful and reminds me there are many ways to feel joy, to give back, to be grateful.  In the article she used this quote to encourage writers to quit writing.  Well, not writers per say but people who THINK they’re writers but aren’t really (?) to give up and find their true passion, their true joy.  Well.  How is one supposed to know THAT!? Am I a writer only if I’m published?  Only if I’m published on a regular basis?  Only if people BUY what I’ve published?  (Moms don’t count…)
I’ve often said my job is what I do, writing is what I AM.  It’s what never changes.  It’s what I do when I feel lost, or sad, or angry, or happy, or grateful, or joyful….it’s what pulls me back to center when I’m feeling out of place.  It’s what connects me, it’s what I do to ‘plug in’, to myself, to the world, to God.  To that place I can’t see but only feel, to where I feel ‘right’ even if everything else is ‘wrong’.  
Does that make me a writer?  
Do other things give me joy?  Sure.  Ellie.  Yoga.  A good book, a roaring fire.  Toby.  A baby kicking my spleen.  (Notice I didn’t mention hubby.  We give each other love, companionship, support, excitement, adventure, challenge, happiness, confusion, support, FRUSTRATION, humor but JOY…no). A marriage is too tangled with expectations met and failed, hopes, dreams and needs to be a source of pure joy.  Joy needs to be spontaneous and uncomplicated.  Sunlight through the leaves of an old tree gets me in the joy spot.  Ellie’s belly laugh, Toby’s scamper after a toy, sun salutations IN the sun, a good sentence aptly written that perfectly expresses how I feel – THAT is joy.
So.  There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground – and I won’t let a silly thing like ‘success’ determine how and when I kneel.  Rah.
Happy almost birthday Ellie, I hope in the birthdays to come you find your joy and you hold on to it, even if people tell you not to, or you shouldn’t, or it’s a waste of time.  No one can judge that but you.  The world is a dark and wonderful, dangerous and magical place.  You find your joy and you stop the world for it because a life without joy isn’t LIFE at all.  Rah one more time, for good measure.  

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