Finding Joy @RossGay18 @AlgonquinBooks

From my current work position, that place where my laptop is situated, I can see six different lantanas and have been blessed over the past two months to watch a female ruby-throated hummingbird sample the nectar of these colorful flowers. She zips from blossom to blossom, her wings flapping more than 80 times per second. Sometimes my eyes don’t see her immediately. In fact, I was delightedly watching sparrows bathing in my solar fountain when I caught a glimpse of her darting among the lantana and calibrachoa above the fountain. I dare your lips to not form an “oh” when you view a hummingbird suddenly. It’s almost instinct. It’s wonder.

Excuse the quality. This pic was taken through the panes of a French door. Just look at the blur of those wings! ❤💖

During my recent vacation in Southern Shores, NC. There weren’t any flowers in the house I stayed at, but there were plenty of trees. Hummingbirds, much like me, are huge fans of trees. (If you aren’t a fan, there’s nothing like planting one to become an instant fan.) It was here on one of my last days of vacation that I saw three flying in formation. On purpose? This I don’t know because typically I just saw them chasing each other; ruby-throats are very territorial. I don’t have a picture anywhere except in my head where it will stay for as long as I can access memories.

Joy. I am reading an ARC of Ross Gay’s The Book of (More) Delights from Algonquin (tour post will be up in about two weeks), which is a companion book–of sorts–to his previous book, Inciting Joy (see my review from 2022; seriously was that just last year?!). One thing I am struck by, but can also 100% identify with, is how often his delight, his joy, is connected with nature. It’s a simple joy any of us can experience, if we allow ourselves to. Bulbous clouds in cerulean. Sparrows fluffing feathers in a fountain. The head dance of a stick insect. The scent of petrichor. Toes tunneling in sand. The sparkles of snow gliding down from a lavender sky.

These joys are completely egoless. They are free. They are everywhere. Yours for the taking. Have you enJOYed nature today?

Can’t you just feel the velvety purple softness of this clematis flower? Joy.

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