“Surprised by Joy”

The Joy of Sunlight Glimmering on Blue Water off the Coast of Maine, September 16, 2018

William Wordsworth’s phrase, “surprised by joy,” comes to mind whenever I experience one of these unexpectedly joyful moments of life. But I always, always forget that “surprised by joy” was occasioned by immeasurable grief. It’s only when I go back to the poem that I remember.

Marie H. Reed Breakwater Park, Rockland, Maine, September 16, 2018

“XXIX [Surprised by joy–impatient as the Wind]” is in the public domain. Retrieved from https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/xxix-surprised-joy-impatient-wind September 16, 2018.


23 thoughts on ““Surprised by Joy”

  1. Wonderful image, thought and poem, Liz. A joy such as that is made all the more intense by the awareness (perhaps unconsciously) that it is but a fleeting moment that shall pass too soon — or we shall.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ah, the joy of photos from beautiful Maine. 🙂 I suppose when a person is deep in sorrow it’s hard to imagine there will be joy again. And when it happens, it is a surprise. It happened for me and my siblings at my father’s funeral earlier this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely. The little spot of joy at my dad’s funeral was his eulogy by a fond colleague. (Picture a priest on a motorcyle tearing over the roads of rural Aroostook County with his Bible, prayerbook, and Communion kit strapped in a milk crate on the back.)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I like “She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways” as well.

    SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways
    Beside the springs of Dove,
    A Maid whom there were none to praise
    And very few to love:

    A violet by a mossy stone
    Half hidden from the eye!
    –Fair as a star, when only one
    Is shining in the sky.

    She lived unknown, and few could know
    When Lucy ceased to be; 10
    But she is in her grave, and, oh,
    The difference to me!

    Liked by 1 person

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