I’m not exactly what you’d call a “joyous” person. I appreciate things, I enjoy time off work, I take pride in a job well done, but I rarely feel a real sense of “joy.” This evening, however, I experienced an uncommon moment of being truly joyous. I saw my friend Oldie again.
When the weather is good, Gretchen and I often walk to our local gym after work. One day earlier this year as we passed one of several antique stores along the route, we saw a cat lounging in the display window. We stopped outside the window, watched him for a bit, and simply found him adorable. Over the next several weeks, the cat was often in the window when we passed by, and we got into the habit of looking for him, stopping for a second or two, pecking at the window, talking to him through the glass, and moving on. We even named him: Oldie (which we pronounced “Odie”).
Then Oldie stopped being there for us when we walked by. There had been a few instances when Oldie would disappear for a few days and then reappear, but this time he seemed gone for good. Each time we passed, we’d peer into the window, just in case, but Oldie wasn’t there. Strange as it may sound, although we’d never met the cat other than through a window pane, we missed him, and we couldn’t help but look for him.
Cold weather came early to our area this fall, and we haven’t been walking to the gym much in the past few weeks. Today, however, was uncommonly warm, and we decided to make our trek after work. We were chatting along the way and began walking past the antique store without really thinking about it. Then it happened: Gretchen first saw him and turned to look at me. Being the unobservant person I am, I didn’t initially see him, but then I did, and Gretchen and I looked at each other and grinned. That was when joy came over us both, and for the next couple of minutes we smiled, “petted” Oldie through the window, talked to him, and enjoyed his company. We walked on to the gym and visited with him again on our way home, smiling, talking, and having fun.
The smiles, pleasure, and, yes, absolute joy continued even after we left Oldie in the window. I’m looking forward to walking past the antique store again. My friend Oldie may be waiting there for me.