Joy at 17

Ben Maksym, a 17-year-old poet from Vermont, penned an exquisite short poem of simple Joy.  In adolescence, the bridge between childhood and adulthood, Joy can be forgotten amidst the many insecurities, questions, and changes that occur. But Ben found clarity in the simple: the daily Moments that create Joy.

Waking up on a tired day
and lying. Not moving, just sitting.
To have no duties, no arduous ordeals

to deal with. That is joy.

Making a joke, seeing others
smile, not just to be nice, or to indulge,
but because they’re actually amused.
You smile, too. That is joy.

Stroking a dog or cat or
animal of any size, shape, type,
that loves you. Not having them

run, tense, fear. That is joy.

To hear “I love you” of your
own effort, work, and patience;
to respond in kind. That is joy.

Dancing, singing, loving,
with your own child.
Seeing their sunlight smile. That is joy.

Where do we find simple Joys in everyday life? As we tap into our childlike spirit of wonder, what Joy comes into focus? How might we honor and celebrate that Joy?