Surprising Joy

We walked on the beach yesterday, in the first golden sunlight we had seen for a few days. The cold wind whipped our faces red, and tugged and tangled our hair, creating wild styles in the dogs long fur. It swirled the sand into long streaks across the beach and churned the sea into millions of white horses. When we walked into it, it seemed to steal our very breath away, and if I smiled my teeth hurt in the cold fierce air. All this energy made me grin, despite the sore teeth, and joy bubbled up inside me growing with each exciting, windswept breath. I hadn’t gone looking for it, but there it was patiently waiting to be uncovered, and I laughed out loud into the winter wind and the low blinding sunlight.

Sometimes it was so hard to walk that we all ground to a halt and just stood facing into the oncoming wind, our ears filled with wild sounds of rushing air, all our senses stunned. It lifted my spirits in an utterly surprising way, and made me think about the way I sometimes chase after joy, searching it out here and there, and yet never quite find it. Usually when I’m not looking it turns up and surprises me. Had I known the wind would be so fierce, I might have thought twice about a walk on the beach, and then I would have missed out on all this fun. When we think we know how something will feel we make assumptions which narrow our lives.

Just around the corner the wind surprised me again by dropping completely, leaving me gasping in awe at the golden reflections of the setting sun in the still water on the sand. A different joy filled me then, one full of peace. If I had turned back to escape the wild wind I would have missed this golden stillness, and once again I’m reminded to stay open to what lies around the corner. Life might have some surprising beauty to throw our way, filling our lives with unexpected joy, but only if we stay open enough to receive it. Let go, breathe out and open yourself to the wild flowing winds of life.

Find more joy filled posts at this weeks photo challenge.

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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54 Responses to Surprising Joy

  1. Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing the joy!

  2. Pingback: Joy « blogagaini

  3. wisejourney says:

    I wish you and your family a wonderful 2014…very best x


  4. Pingback: One crisp moment, filled with Joy! | Words 'n Pics...

  5. Lovely to see the dogs having such fun ๐Ÿ™‚ I see Scotland has been hit badly overnight and today with lots of flooding! Hope you’re ok?

    • We’re fine thank you Sarah, but the local river is incredibly full, and running very fast. We walked the dogs beside it today and my husband was worried about the dogs being swept away!
      There are lots of flooded local roads, but luckily we are all stocked up ready for our Hogmanay celebrations tomorrow. We live in an old house built on high ground between the North and South fork of the Esk, and thankfully don’t need to worry about flooding ๐Ÿ™‚
      How are things in your parts?

      • We just got back from a trip to Shropshire and Manchester so haven’t yet been along to the areas that were worst affected! I think the water levels have dropped off a bit. It’s a relief to be on higher ground when we get these rains!

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  7. How fun. I’ve read your beach posts in reverse order and commented about a severe case of beach-envy that I have developed from being a dedicated follower of your blog. Hrumph. D

    • Oh dear, I’m very sorry about that David ๐Ÿ™‚
      We are really very lucky to have both beautiful sandy beaches and dramatic rocky cliffs…..oh and a huge tidal estuary dotted with Islands….hope I’m not provoking more beach envy! I’m always delighted that you’re following along.

  8. poppytump says:

    I can sure feel that whippy wind Seonaid from your pictures … oh the joy in those dogs … rippling flying fur with button noses breathing in all that fresh air … wonderful .

  9. LB says:

    That second photo, with their hair blowing all over the place just screams joy!!!
    A good resolution: to stay open to what lies around the corner.
    Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you…..and if that’s your resolution I have to say you’re making a wonderful recovery ๐Ÿ™‚ Accidents and trauma can be just some of the things which cause us to feel less comfortable about staying open! Equally of course I’m sure you will have had some wonderful support from surprising corners….life does like to keep up the surprises!

  10. susan mae detera says:

    I love the colors ..perfect time to take photos!

  11. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy | Pilot Fish

  12. Pat says:

    Beautiful writing and photos that bring it alive for me. Thanks for the joyful moments.

  13. Your photos are full of such joy…They pull you in to the moment to the story.

  14. You show how the beach is beautiful in all seasons!

  15. Tony McGurk says:

    It’s hard to beat the joy of a walk on the beach with your dog.

  16. Beautiful, and my favorite times to visit the beach too!

  17. Pingback: Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” ['Joy'], for the last Sunday of 2013! | 3rdculturechildren

  18. Excellent – prompted me to look for this ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. colonialist says:

    That lull was a bonus, but even had the wind been unrelenting you would have returned with a feeling of refreshment. Often we say, ‘I’m not venturing out in THIS,’ not realising the exhilaration that would have come from venturing out. The windswept dogs really look happy.

    • They really are happy, they love the feeling and smells I think….plus they look kind of cute ๐Ÿ™‚ I find the dogs get me out into the world whatever the weather ( they give me big sad eyes which are hard to say no to) and I really never regret it!

  20. Jose Esteves says:

    Parabรฉns Seonaid, acredito que possui uma grande vida, na partilha com os seus e sรฃo muitos pelo que nos diz, mas sobretudo no acompanhamento que faz, como รฉ gratificante sabermos que existem pessoas como a Seonaid, bem haja, excelente 2014 para si e restante familia

  21. Gaye Abbott says:

    Joy often nips us in a tender withheld place when all along we thought there was no way that feelings could reach into that secret place. Yes, Seonaid assumptions are the thoughts that shield us from the magnificence of our life and the possibilities spread out before us like jewels….if only we would open our eyes. Here is a quote by Rumi that I love: “Why do you stay in prison….when the door is wide open?” Your post tells me that your door is truly wide open. Gratitude for your gifts of capturing the essence of life in image and word! New Year Love coming your way…..Gaye

    • Gaye, I love that Rumi quote, and it’s so full of wisdom. Assumptions are a terrible curse on life, but we have the keys in our own hands to set us free ๐Ÿ™‚
      Joy and love are great gifts……wishing you a peaceful New Year.

  22. Leya says:

    You describe the wind and its turning and dropping and the joy inside … so well! My dogs love strong winds too. They turn their noses up to the wind and stand there just enjoying, feeling the wind tossing their curls in every direction – But yours, well, I remember my Amanda when I see them. Running, running with those long strands of hair flowing like waves in the ocean…Lovely.

  23. Filled with joy and abundance and your utter willingness to experience life at its fullest. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  24. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy (2) | What's (in) the picture?

  25. I’m sure the dogs loved the wind!!

  26. beeseeker says:

    Agree with J. Casey, thanks for posting.

  27. J. Casey says:

    Beautiful experience and a great read!

  28. Rosa de los Vientos says:

    I believe that the wind takes our problems away. Love the hairs in the wind of your dogs, they must feel very good now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks dear Seonaid.

  29. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I love that moment when we turn a corner, a high wind just stops and silence reigns and I love the way you’ve described it, thanks Seonaid ๐Ÿ™‚

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