#2 Joyful Beliefs 2022

Welcome to the River of Joy, 2022

“Faith is the courage to say yes to life.”

Paul Tillich

“River Dance,”
encaustic by Pat Heck


February 10 to March 21

During these forty days afloat on the River of Joy, we explore what seems possible and feels rewarding to believe about joy. During the first month of this joy year, we traveled through a paradise of our own imagining, remembering and celebrating the sources of joy, aboard our own versions of Noah’s Ark..

For this month, we float out of paradise, and change crafts in order to meander comfortably onto the Nile, that notably mythic river on our river-rich Earth. Our craft is now a felucca, perfect for experiencing this magical river as a River of Joy. The gentle breezes caress the bright sail as we wander back and forth across the water, looking for stories rich in joyful beliefs.

What finer source for joyful beliefs than this very river, whom the ancient Egyptians perceived as guided by a form of divine energy they called Hapi. (The name means Inundation.) For five thousand years, this beneficent being regularly carried an annual flood of fecund soil into Egypt, providing the people with nourishment, clear seasons for planting and harvesting, and joy in life restored. “Hapi, River Spirit, flourish and return!”

Said to be the longest river on earth; the Nile has two sources: Lake Victoria (one of the world’s largest lakes, touching the countries of Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya) which marks the beginning of what is called the White Nile, while Lake Tana in Ethiopia provides the world with the Blue Nile. The two come together in the city of Khartoum, flowing north, bringing with it rich soil that over thousands of years formed a huge delta growing into the Mediterranean Sea. Hapi is sometimes shown with two breasts pouring out the riches of these two rivers.

Along the Nile, Hapi’s people watched innumerable varieties of birds, fish, other amazing forms of wild life, as well as processions of gods with priests and priestesses come to bless them. They saw building materials for strange buildings — pyramids and lesser structures. They gathered papyrus, discovered its usefulness for building boats, and most important for us, created with it a kind of paper — holder of art, stories, hymns, recipes, magic.

For you to consider in these 40 days:

Create images and/or words, possibly to share in the comment area below:

What words, images and ideas come to you as you entertain  a flood tide of happiness, nourishment, creativity, new life for our world and time?

What words, images and ideas come as you imagine the River of Joy carrying such riches into your life as the River Nile poured itself into ancient Egypt?

What words come as you create a hymn of joy to celebrate times of recovery, resilience, delight?

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1 pm Pacific Time.
Sign up by emailing Patti Kaufman, pattik.mac@me.com


During the first weeks of this forty-day month, we found ourselves afloat on the world’s longest river, the Nile, sensing it as a River of Joy and Joyful Beliefs. For this second part of the month, we deepen our adventure by daring to believe in joy – its presence, its ebullience, its gift of energy. Our focus is discovery: we will look at some beliefs held by ancient wise people, the people of ancient Egypt. For me, these beliefs themselves provide joy.

We accomplish this by continuing to travel aboard a traditional Egyptian river craft, the felucca.

Khnum is the God of creation, the god of water and the evening sun. Ancient Egyptian god Khnum in the guise of a man with a ram head.

Our traveling companion is this gentleman. He is here to guide us toward believing in the joy of creation, and encouraging us toward that joy by making new expressions from our own hands, hearts, and minds. His name is Khnum. Known as the Lord of Destiny, he is Maker of Heaven and Earth and All Things.

More intimately for human kind, he gathers rich dark Nile River clay from mud carrying many varieties of richness for thousands of miles from its sources. Khnum then shapes that clay on his potter’s wheel into human form, creating both our bodies and our souls. These he then magically inserts into our mothers’ wombs.

Here are some words of a hymn to Khnum, translated by that wise knower of all things Egyptian, Normandi Ellis.

God of the potter’s wheel,
Who settled the land by his handiwork…
He has fashioned gods and men,
He has formed flocks and herds;
He made birds as well as fishes,
He created bulls, engendered cows.
He knotted the flow of blood to the bones…
He makes women give birth when the womb is ready.
So as to open the flood gates of life…

There is delight in considering that the One who made all things also used his hands to shape us, caring for us sweetly enough to endow us with a body and a soul.

There is joy in wondering how old that belief might be. It reminds me of the beautiful hymn/sermon, “The Creation,” by James Weldon Johnson, who found inspiration from a similar story in Genesis of the Hebrew Bible. Here is the final verse of that sermon.

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;
This great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in is his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.
Amen.      Amen.

The invitation is to believe that the flood gates of life open to new life, not just to being born as a baby, but always and all ways open to the one who creates and who cares for creation.

During this month of Joyful Beliefs as we continue our journey of imagining the River of Joy confluent with the mystery of the Nile, the invitation is also to imagine the hands of the Divine Potter capable of refreshing and restoring our human bodies and inspiring our human souls, all our lives long. How might that be?

PS. It is wonderful to read about your excursions on the River of Joy. Please keep your comments coming!

Join the next Joy Ride
It’s Free

We launch the Month of Joyful Awareness
On the Ganges via Zoom

Tuesday, March 22 at 1:00 pm Pacific time

Sign On by emailing pattik.mac@me.com


Joy in the World.

And in me. Praise. Praise. Praise.

PS. It is wonderful to read about your excursions on the River of Joy. Please keep your comments coming!

Buy the calendar:

The Lady’s Year for Joy

The Lady’s Year for Joy is your personal guide and journal as you seek, focus, explore, test, recognize, experience, embrace, offer, and report
the truth of Joy in the world.

For you and for gifting your friends — this new calendar will enrich your daily reflections.

$25.00 plus shipping

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Join the Daily Poets via Telephone

In 2010, several members of Jean Houston’s West Coast Mystery School joined to support one another with a daily phone call to ponder the inspirational writings collected by Peggy Rubin. All are welcome to join the calls. For those who wish to join the call at 9 am Pacific time the number is 1-605-313-4818 (new in April, 2019), code 884124#. Read more about them HERE.

Sign Up to Receive Peggy’s Posts on Practicing Joy in the World via Email:

See subscription in footer area, below.