“The fog comes on little cat feet . . .”
One of my favorite lines by Carl Sandburg. Something about the cadence of the words, the visual they bring to mind, speaks to me.
Joy comes on little cat feet sometimes also.
I cannot say I was raised on speaking terms with Joy. In our house growing up, there were moments of humor, of happiness, of worry and consternation. Add in a heaping helping of Responsibility (that capital R, oh the weight of it), and you’ve got a recipe that tempts Joy to go find a better party.
I’ve been throwing just such a shindig, as it turns out.
Joy crept into my life over the past several years after a hiatus during which I let all sorts of things drag me down.
As I struggled financially after divorce, Joy tapped me on the shoulder late at night. Usually when I was sipping a nice sparkling rosé and thanking God one more time that I had enough. That I was enough.
As I watch my sons blossom, each with a wonderful but very different sense of humor, Joy whispers in my ear, “Hey, girl. You know where those genes come from. They have a belly laugh like yours. Isn’t that wonderful?”
Joy has recently come in the form of someone who has been very good to me. Full of happy surprises. And no, I don’t want to share any of it. It’s mine to know, for now. Maybe forever.
The Responsible part of me wants to dissect it all, like a friend who overanalyzes a great party.
I will have none of that.
Joy means taking each day as it comes. Allowing yourself, the oh–so-Responsible one, some irresponsibility. Some moments just for you, away from prying eyes and dissectors.
Because, in case you did not know, here is how Sandburg’s poem ends:
“It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.”
Joy, like fog, is not a constant. You get moments. Some, if you’re very lucky, strung together.
Such a gift is meant to be enjoyed. Not questioned or analyzed. Not shared with the world at large.
Little cat feet tend to turn in other directions when watched too closely.
I close my eyes.