June the month to be joyful

June is one of my favourite months. Come to think about it, June is my favourite month!
Garden lettuce, plump fresh strawberries, sparkling fireflies, bright orange lilies, green grass without watering. Usually not too hot or too cold.
June is so lush—especially this year! A little too lush, granted, in many places where the rain has been overabundant.
But most important of all are the long, long days.
I especially loved the long days of June when we lived in the beautiful city of Edmonton, Alberta–400 miles north of the U.S./Canadian border. Far enough north to make an appreciable difference in the ratio of daytime and nighttime.
I still remember one special June night in the early 1960s. My husband was gone for the night so my mother slept over. She happened to work the 3-11 p.m. shift that night so our coffee time began at 11:30 p.m.
As usual, we had lots to talk about. Then all of a sudden, I noticed how very light it was outside.
I asked the question, “Is it still night or is it already morning?”
We consulted the clock and, sure enough, it was 2:30 a.m. The night had been so short as to be almost imperceptible.
That’s the kind of June I like!
Now, there was a downside in Edmonton’s summer daylight. In December, our six-year-old daughter went to school at dawn and returned at dusk.
But it didn’t really matter. It was too cold to enjoy the outside anyway.
It was time to sit by the fireplace–if we had had a fireplace at the time!
For me, the winter darkness was a small price to pay in order to be so “joyful in June.” And it was up to us to store up the joy for the coming year. Because, after all, joy always has to come from within!
Joyfulness has to be intentional. We are in charge of our own joy. There always are plenty of reasons to give in to sadness and bitterness, especially as you get older. But it’s up to us to learn to create joy.
“How?” you may ask. For the answer, let’s listen to the wisdom of the Buddha.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
For joy that never leaves, think positive thoughts, Buddhism advises. It makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, how can you possibly feel joyful if your mind is full of negative and critical thoughts?
So focus on the positive.
Joyfulness empowers you and enables you to spread the joy–to your family, to your friends, and even to casual acquaintances. You can help them to realize their own joyful possibilities—enabling them to experience life with lots of fun and laughter.
Living in the present moment is essential for fostering joy. And what better time to live in the present than in June.
Throw yourself into the long sunlit days and beautiful flower-filled evenings.
Remember, life is full of joy but it’s up to you to find it. So be joyful in June!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@cox.net