In a conversation with Krista Tippett on her podcast, On Being, Ross Gay poses the question “How joy?” Particularly, “How joy, now?” Gay reflects that the moments of joy are in when his alienation from other people dissipates. He feels a joining (or Joy-ning) with the common experiences of humanity. It is not a luxury to be indulged only in moments of calm and ease. Instead, joy is a right and responsibility to be cared for, curated and fostered.
For me, the walks in the northern part of the park are just that, a pointed exploration for joy. Whether with friends (Dara Malina), my better half (Adam Fleming), or alone (surrounded by the other park goers), the times when I decide to pause the news and go in search of joy mark moments when I have been restored to my purpose as a human here are on earth. I hear the birds' sounds, see a child discover squirrels and discover squirrels again myself. I relearn what it is to be connected to the world around me, not a facsimile or digital re-creation, but the real world that contains endless and infinite possibilities for joy.
At Ghostlight, we set the stage for this every day. We recognize, now more than ever, that the world our campers occupy can give the impression of interconnectivity, when in reality it is preying upon their isolation, feeding on anxieties and loneliness. At camp, we reinvest in the simple, pragmatic ways of finding joy in all we do. We recognize that through community and ensemble, joy is cared for so that it can flourish in the open, becoming more readily available for us all.
We cannot wait to welcome our community back home this summer and create and celebrate. Have wonderful end-of-year celebrations, however you choose to do so, and join us in beginning this new year by taking joy in all you do.