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Finding Nuggets of Joy in this Crazy World

By Theresa Anthony, Author, Hope Springs from a Mother's Broken Heart

I dare you to look at a bouquet of daffodils and not smile. I have always loved daffodils, and refer to them as “happy flowers.” Those humble little explosions of yellow sunshine can instantly reboot your mood and lift your spirits.

Isn’t it time we all seek out the things that stir our hearts?

Who can deny feeling a bit weary these days, beaten down by two years of insanity on a global scale? Forced into making changes in our daily lives that we would have never asked for, and worrying about literally everything has truly left its mark on our collective psyche.

I find it amazing that, even in this emotionally exhausted state, our fledgling little spirits can still rise up in response to the simplest pleasures… like a bunch of daffodils, or The Beatles.

Over the Christmas weekend, my youngest daughter came to stay with me. Having her with me was a much-needed delight, as I was still grieving the loss of my mother just weeks earlier. Not only that, but as of October my grandkids had all moved out of state; it was devastating to no longer have these loved ones with me at Christmas.

So, my daughter and I truly enjoyed spending Christmas Eve together, cooking up a feast and chatting up a storm. Of course, we followed that by watching It’s a Wonderful Life together.

After the movie, she asked if I had seen the new Beatles documentary, Get Back. She assumed I had, knowing what a diehard Beatles fan I was (and still am). But no, I had not even heard about it. She opened up Disney+ and together we spent almost eight hours over the next three days watching this amazing documentary.

I was only eight years old when The Beatles blew the lid off the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. I clearly recall that performance, and got my first Beatles album later that year. My best friend and I saw A Hard Day’s Night and Help multiple times at the local Fox theater. I could routinely be found in my room, playing the Hard Day’s Night album over and over on my little turntable, and singing along with the Fab Four.

Like so many other kids in the mid-sixties, we formed our own little makeshift Beatles band. Using large ice cream tubs as drums, compliments of the guy at the local ice cream store, and crafting guitars out of cardboard and string, we lip-synced our favorite Beatles songs with gusto.

The joy of growing up with The Beatles has always remained in my heart. In fact, while raising my own kids I made sure that they were introduced to the music, and even bought them some Beatles albums on cassette. My grandkids were not exempt either, as I subjected them to a Beatles playlist I’d compiled when they were about eight, with the preface that this was the greatest band of all time.

My daughter and I were riveted by the documentary, and their groovy fashion choices, which featured over seven hours of brilliant studio footage from a three-week period in 1969. While watching, I realized almost immediately that my whole demeanor became lighter and happier, humming along to the songs and witnessing pure creative genius. Most of the material they wrote over those three weeks was featured on the Abbey Road and Let it Be albums.

Over the three days, consuming one episode per day, I sat entranced, smiling and singing while re-experiencing a snippet of my youth. The famous “rooftop concert” provided the apex, during which I passionately sang my heart out with tears in my eyes. How could it not be emotional; cheering for them to pull it all together while knowing it was the last time they’d ever perform together, and knowing the sad fate of two of the band members. I went to sleep that night with the songs playing in my head.

How powerful the smallest pleasures can be to lift us up and provide a shot of utter joy. Admittedly, I had been down in the proverbial dumps for a couple of months when Christmas Eve rolled around. But over that three-day period, reminiscing with The Beatles while spending quality time with my daughter acted like a booster rocket to my mood. All this to say that it is incredibly important, especially during this particularly challenging period in history, to seek joy in the little things that make your heart sing.

I was lucky to find it in a daughter’s love, the beauty of music… and even some daffodils. (look closely)


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