#5 Joyful Presence 2022

Encaustic “River of Joy” by Pat Heck


This Month’s Joy Ride visiting the world and people of the Darling River of Australia, chosen primarily for its name, rich with stories and heritage, must be postponed.

Our beloved captains, Patti Kaufman and Pat Heck, are facing physical challenges which demand their time and total focus. Any and all prayers, healing energy, good wishes, and intentions for a rapid return to total health will be appreciated.


The Month of Joyful Presence
June 10 – July 19, 2022

We can only be said to be alive
in those moments when our hearts
are conscious of our treasures.
–Thornton Wilder

Welcome to a time for celebrating the presence of joy, no matter what else is in our midst.

We’re asked by the Lady of Joy to focus on the particular joy that is essential to creation. With that in mind we travel in our imagination to the Land Where Time Began, the continent of Australia, oldest land mass on our earth.

We come to visit the oldest human culture on earth, that of Aboriginal Australia. For over 50,000 years the people here have developed, explored, and abided within an understanding and practice of the living presence of continuous creation, joyful creation.

This Presence is inescapable; each human is born of the Presence, is initiated into her/his unique share in the Presence, and learns the responsibility of maintaining the aliveness and power of the Presence through song, story, enactment, ceremony, and art.

The people have several names for the origin of this Presence, as it was in the beginning and ever shall be. Some translate it as Dreamtime, or, perhaps more accurately, the Dreaming. Others call it the Law.

Those of us born into much younger cultures and into a greatly mechanized world, do not receive lifelong teachings about the necessity to maintain creatively the authenticity, the well-being, the sheer magnificence of creation as a Presence suffusing us utterly at every moment of our lives.

How then might we learn from these much older sisters and brothers some way of acknowledging and practicing partnership with such a Presence?

Here’s a possibility:

Consider what parts of creation you feel closest to; what parts have been present somehow through much of your life? Animals? Insects? Plants? Trees?

For example, Kath Walker, one of Australia’s poets and artists, describes how it is to be a descendant of the original paper bark tree which emerged from the Dreaming and made its way across the land to establish its own being in all the appropriate places, singing as it traveled. The poet’s responsibility is to support the well-being and continuing aliveness of all members of the paper bark tree family, by engaging in story-telling, singing its songs of creation, painting the story of its origins – a story which is happening now and continuously.

Similarly people are born into the lineage of the dingo, the bandicoot, the echidna, the wallaby, the kangaroo, the emu, the lizard, the king brown snake, the pelican—all the living beings. Their stories are manifest in the landscape.

As the ancestral beings stretched forth from the Dreaming, they traveled, met others at this place, nestled into this place to sleep or make love, fought a battle here, found something to eat here, “went back” into the Dreaming here. Thus all the rocks and rills, dunes, water holes, every part of the living earth is suffused with the song/stories of creation, and can only stay alive through continuous remembrance, practice, and vigorous participation in ensuring that aliveness.

Here is Wave Rock, created by the primordial power, Rainbow Serpent, as she roamed across the land, singing it into being.

And here is a sacred painting, known as a tjuringa, made to honor Rainbow Serpent, describe her activities, and celebrate her Presence.

Practicing the Presence of Joyful Creation can inspire us to write poems, make observations, tell stories, attend to its powers, pray for its health, sing praise, create rituals for and about it, draw an aspect of it, or paint it — that Presence of continuous Creation alive in all beings. Attending most tenderly to those with whom we feel close kinship. Perhaps especially those who are in grave danger of becoming extinct in this modern world.

“It’s up to us to re-enchant this planet Earth,” says Will Ashe Bacon.
“It’s up to us to break the spell
that steals the music from
the Wind and Rain
it is our spell
we can break it
We will dance the magic dance
and our bodies will remember
we will sing the magic songs
and together we’ll remember
how to live together
how to love each other
how to ride the eagle
how to call the deer Home.”

Joy in the World. And in me.
Praise. Praise. Praise.

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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.

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