this is what greeted us as we made our way down riverside drive from the george washington bridge -- the sun setting over new jersey. sometimes it's truly breathtaking, how beautiful it can be up here.
as we zipped through the adirondacks in our spiffy rental van with wayne asleep in the backseat, i laughed and bounced around in the front seat with matt ray at the helm as we told stories and sang along to everything sirius radio's 70's channel could throw at us, marvelling at how we knew absolutely all of the lyrics to every single solitary song. as a matter of fact, the cheesier the song, the more on point we were. uncanny. it was cold and wet and gray outside but the fall foliage was like a house on fire. we glided through constant explosions of reds and yellows, with hills and mountains that shifted all around us, overwhelming our good time with moments of genuine awe and personal reflection that gave way to silence. why is it so easy to find God in nature? as the chorus to barry manilow's "i write the songs" modulated and soared, i realized that i was happy but what i felt was bigger than the glee that knows me when i'm having fun. there was something else there. it was joy.
happiness is a feeling. it comes and it goes. it's something you can choose. joy is spiritual. it is a gift from God. joy chooses you. it resonates inside some other hidden part of you, whether you happen to be in a good mood or not. when everything in my day goes straight to hell, it's joy that tips everything in me in the other direction, giving me an equilibrium that is virtually unbreakable. not the harshness of the city, not my dire circumstances, not even my worst enemies can hinder me. i am astonished at this shift, how subtle it can be and how over time, i've grown to rest in it and trust it. everything really is going to be alright.
if i had a favorite song, it would have to be "joy, joy" by the edwin hawkins singers. everyone everywhere should hear that song at least once after they've called themselves grown and the world whips them around for awhile. everyone should own the cd "oh, happy day." it's instant uplift.