I was reminded this weekend of the skill we humans have of finding the capacity of joy even in times of hardship. On Friday, I heard fire engine sirens coming down my block. When I came outside, behind the fire engines was a parade of cars celebrating graduates. Cars were decorated, kids were popped out of sun roofs, or waving to neighbors from the back of truck beds. There was true joy in their faces as they acknowledged the cheers and calls from people they knew and perfect strangers.
This was not the graduation celebration that they or their families were anticipating. These students left for spring break not thinking that they wouldn't be able to return to their schools to finish out their celebratory senior year.
Their excitement demonstrates the capacity that we all have of changing perspective and letting go of expectation. It is not always easy. I am sure many of these graduates had moments of grief at the loss of this year's celebration and the inability to say good bye to their friends. They also demonstrated that joy can be found in reimagining special moments.
I saw one of these high school seniors walking her dog last night and asked her how she liked the parade. She beamed and said it was so much fun and that she hopes it becomes a tradition for future classes. As she walked away, I thought, in these times, it is a skill to let moments of joy resonate and to not minimize them.
Here's hoping that we can all start the tradition of embracing the celebration of our joys no matter the form they take, not in comparison to what could have been, but in full measure.
Here are some COVID celebrations of joy:
Moving through this together. Stay Safe