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Little Jolts of Joy

Have you ever had an unexpected jolt of joy, a little surprise that lifted your spirits? Maybe something like an unusual cloud formation, or maybe a child's delighted grin over some small discovery. My husband recently described a ground squirrel whose fat cheeks were filled to overflowing with acorns. We are no lovers of ground squirrels, as they have created extensive tunnels throughout our property, but this little critter was so cute, Lou couldn't help but smile.

I was driving down the road a couple days ago when I received my own little jolt of joy. Trees hugged both sides of the road, and shadows muted their autumn foliage. Then I went around a curve. A section of the land on my right was cleared, and the golden light of late afternoon illuminated the trees on my left. The trees suddenly sparked and glittered like multi-colored jewels. It was breathtaking, and I slowed my car, wanting to prolong the experience.

Another day I was stuck in traffic, waiting for a slow train to pass. I glanced over to the side and thought, what a nice view of Old Town Helena! I had my camera in the car, so I took a shot through the window, and you would never know there was a long line of cars in front of me and a train just out of view down the hill.

That same day I saw this fall display, similar to many around the area this time of year:

Whenever I walk through my garden, no matter the season, there is almost always something that creates a little jolt of joy, if I am open to it. (There are certain negative moods that refuse to be lifted, but I try to avoid them.) Autumn is a favorite season, with its mild temperatures, fresh air, and warm colors. Here are some recent images in the garden that I appreciated, and you may wonder at how little it takes to make me happy!


Have you had any little jolts of joy today? All it takes is sensitivity to small things, as well as to the spectacular (which even, sadly, many people will miss).

Blessings to you all!   Deb



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Reader Comments (15)

It's important to remain open to those "jolts of joy" as you aptly termed them, Deb. Gardens in general and yours in particular provide a lot of opportunity in that department. Yesterday, during and after a little early morning rain, I was struck by how fresh and beautiful everything around me was. I took some photos too, which I'll probably post later this week.

November 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Today, I was taken with the number of shrubs that are coloring up beautifully - viburnum, fothergilla, enkianthus and weigela. Even the foliage of iris, amsonia and grasses are turning a lovely golden yellow. Here in New England, all the focus is on maples that peak in early October, but a month later, there is still plenty of color to be appreciated if one only stops to notice it. Nice post!

November 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEliza Waters

Almost daily I’m still getting jolts of joy even though it’s November and I’m in central Michigan. In particular are the Japanese Maples which have been slow to color with their flaming reds and oranges. And next to those just this morning I noticed a Clethra of bright yellow, made even more vibrant by some welcomed sunshine. Our leaf drop is only about 50% so I’m hoping for many more joyful moments. Thanks for sharing your shots of nature!

November 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnnE

my toad lilies give me daily jolts of joy ... for months. i have several kinds, and they are such beautiful little things. they are about the only thing i have blooming in fall, and they are profuse.
--suz in NE ohio

November 7, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersuz

That's a great picture of Helena! It reminds me of a town in our mountains. I really like the picture of the shadows of the trees on the side of the building too, and the golden leaves (beech?) against the green hosts leaf.

I always enjoy the shadows and golden light of late afternoon (especially in the garden) and wish that time of day would last a lot longer than it does. It's so gorgeous and seems to go by too quickly.

This would make a great daily meme, in the garden or out.

November 7, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

To answer your question about the beautyberries: I bought a couple from Niche Gardens and then propagated the rest from seed. I just took whole berries, put them in a plastic bag in the fridge over the winter, and then set them out in pots in the spring. Setting the berries out in pots in the fall would work too.

November 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

That really is a nice view of your town. So many trees. Today the leaves of my Japanese maple gave me joy. They are so beautiful, both on the tree as on the ground, yellow and red and orange.

November 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

A good lesson in being aware of the beauty and the small joys that surround us. I love the view of your home town.

November 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJason

There are seven major bridges (and a number of smaller ones) that cross the St. Johns River in my neck of the woods. When the sun hits that water it always looks like diamonds on the river. I never get over that little jolt of joy. One of your photos is 3 acorns. What tree does that come off of?

November 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLinda @ SouthernRuralRoute

Hi everyone, thank you all for your comments! I enjoyed reading about your own little jolts of joy. Linda,those acorns came from Chestnut Oaks. They are huge! The acorns in the photo are about life-size! Deb

November 9, 2017 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

Beauty is around us, we just need to open our eyes and hearts.
Thank you, Deb for the reminder, for your thoughts and your pictures!

November 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTatyana

I loved your post and there is so much inspiration here. I also love to find the beauty surrounding us everyday and sometimes it can be the simplest of things. Thank you for sharing this!

Your traffic jam picture would certainly jolt me joyfully thru that experience.

We have had ongoing road works for the last few years. Finally they are nearly nearly finished. One of the women who spent hours in the stop go used her time to draw. Followed by an art exhibition, which I am still sad to have missed. But I love her Make Lemonade attitude among the grumbles.

Walking around our garden today with my sister - can I have a bit of that, and that? Was joyful for both of us.

November 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

You've done such a great job here of connecting us with those "jolts of joy." I have sometimes referred to these as "small, perfect moments." Whatever we call them, i'm convinced that being open to them and taking time to notice them every day is the secret to happiness. (The photo of the tree shadows on the wall particularly made my heart sing.)

November 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJean

I LOVE how little it takes to make you happy! Thank you for the reminder to stay open to those "jolts of joy." I am in the city for the winter (Brooklyn NY), so those jolts may have to come from spotting a vintage neon sign, the late-day sun at a low angle just before it slips out of sight between tall buildings,
a talented violinist playing for coins on a subway platform. But still! Happy holidays to you.

December 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCara Greenberg

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