by Cathy Leestma

Several weeks ago when life was looking particularly grim between the details of Covid and the multiple daily events of life, both my personal life and the life of our country, I made and declared a conscious decision, that on a daily basis, regardless of the news of the day, that I would choose JOY as my focus of life.

A lot of joy can be seen in the volunteers who create the wreaths, swags and garlands that decorate the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. Photo by Alice Garrard.

Joy is almost an inexplicable emotion. It’s different than happy, deeper than happy, can be more permanent than happy and yet has a whole lot of happiness in it. There’s a “bubble over” effect with joy and a deepening of your spirit when you are joyous. True joy doesn’t last for a moment and isn’t bought but it can be traded for. I decided to trade in the sadness of each day and the impending fear of the future and all of the “what if’s,” as those heavy burdens were causing me to be anything but joyous.

As we all know, emotions are running at their highest level for as long as any of us can even remember. In addition, I have noticed that we all seem to be just a little below what our game might have been in January, 2020. Statistics show children, young people… all of us are missing social connections. I am grateful for all the ways we can still stay connected and encourage all of us to go above and beyond when it comes to staying connected especially with those who are most vulnerable.
 
The Breeze exists because there is a community of writers and readers and advertisers who all come together for the greater good and who share their talent and resources in order to keep a community newsmagazine alive. David and I thank you for your tremendous support and hope the Breeze brings some joy to your home, and we wish you a very happy and blessed holiday season.