Joy Is All Around

Have you ever been surprised by joy? Picture yourself loading up a canoe with folding chairs and a picnic, and paddling off to a small island.

You arrive, unload the canoe, and set up your chairs. Lo and behold…attached to one of the folding chairs is the chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly!

Just look at the perfection, and the detail, the tiny decorations of gold on the soft green. Only in nature can you find such beauty and magic. And be moved to tears of joy at the wonder of it all.

the chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly

The perfect design of a Monarch’s chrysalis ~ photo by Julie Wise

The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Excerpt from The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
path into woods

Into The Woods…photo by Julie Wise

Sunny Days

After almost a month of days of endless gray, the sun peeked out through the clouds yesterday. I’d forgotten how bright and warm even winter days can be when the sun is shining.

I stood by the window, eyes closed, and soaked up the rays for the few minutes that it shone. Such joy!

And captured the brilliance on the sun-kissed blossoms of my bougainvillea.

bougainvillea blooms

Sun-kissed bougainvillea. Photo by J. Wise

Daily Joy

If you’re open to it, each day is full of surprises and moments of joy. Today, for example, on a bitterly cold winter’s morning, we suddenly noticed a flock of birds flitting back and forth among the trees.

Curious, we took out the binoculars to get a closer look.

Robins, a bird we normally identify with the return of spring, were happily flying about the snow-laden trees.

A surprise that brought a smile, as well as a shake of the head. Did they miss the memo about flying south for the winter?

robin on branch in winter

A robin on January 8, 2017!

Savouring Summer

When it’s cold outside, and the winter wind is blowing snow around, it helps me to remember that it’s always summer somewhere!

Perhaps this photo, taken as I walked on a long sun-drenched beach in Australia, will bring warmth and sunshine into your day.

Australian beach

Summer’s pleasure – a walk along a solitary beach. ~ Photo by Julie Wise

Today I Choose Joy Over Fear

I’m not American. I don’t live in the United States. I didn’t vote in the election. In fact, right now I’m on the other side of the globe.

However, I did hear the collective gasp that reverberated around the world following the election results. And I continue to hear fearful comments today.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to focus on joy and possibility. Find it within yourself, your day, your world. Cherish and appreciate the moments of joy and beauty. Share your joy through images and words so that others may feel uplifted and inspired.

We are all connected. Let’s choose to make the connection a joy-filled one. And, yes, it does make a difference.

woman on a swing

A joyous moment under blue skies

Feathered Rainbows

One of the joys of travel is experiencing new and unexpected delight.

For example, birds that would be considered “exotic” (and only found in zoos in Canada) are commonplace in Australia.

This rainbow lorikeet is one of many that regularly come to the trees and veranda railings asking to be fed. In fact, there is a pair that have become so comfortable with me that they follow me around everywhere I go, landing right beside me, chirring and chatting.

Just one of my many feathered friends!

rainbow lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet ~ Photo by Julie Wise

Sunrise, Sunset

I love sunsets, and sunrises (although I’m not often up early enough to see sunrises!)

Each one is unique. Each holds a surreal beauty, subtly shifting from moment to moment, ushering in a sense of peace and serenity. A feeling that all’s well with the world.

Is there anything more beautiful?

sunset

Sunset at Smiths Lake, Australia. Photo by Julie Wise