Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy and … Happy New Year!

This past year I started with “dancing my troubles away.” I also danced for rain in Tucson while on Solana Beach last June. In both cases the dancing was not very effective – my troubles did not go away, and we did not get as much rain as we needed.

Every New Year is supposed to be joyful, and of course often it’s not. When you live long enough, you lower your expectations. To my surprise, this New Year’s Eve was more joyful than I anticipated. For that I am very grateful to Tucson’s Laffs Comedy Caffe! That is where I met the New Year of 2014 (http://www.Laffstucson.com).

Comedy Club at New Year's Eve

Alicja laughing

Every one of us defines joy differently. However, we can all agree that a smile is a good indicator of joy … I mean a genuine smile!

Rodney's Smile

It is hard not to feel the power of Rodney’s smile, which is totally disarming. He owns a one-man-operation restaurant on the main street of Wilcox, AZ. If you are ever in Wilcox, I am sure you will try his cooking as I did in November.

Rodney Menu posted on the window

There is another type of smile full of joy that is not interactive, but self contained. This flower girl in a wedding ceremony on a Cape Cod beach just couldn’t resist the joy of touching and sifting the soft, warm sand.

Flower Girl smiling while playing with the sand

I experience a similar feeling of joy while looking at luminaries – the characteristic holiday lights that are common in this part of the country – their soft glow evokes a soft smile.

Luminaries in Tucson

Happy New Year 2014! 

Let it glow with JOY for each of us!

Alicja at New Year's Celebration

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Explore posts in the same categories: Arizona, Celebrations, Essays, Events, Feelings, Photo essays, Photo stories, Places, Thoughts

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10 Comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy and … Happy New Year!”

  1. Marge Says:

    Looking for joy is a great way to find it. Thanks for the smile!

  2. Mark Trocchi Says:

    Beauty is all around…the unwritten message of all of your photo essays.  Happy New Year. May it bring, warmth, happiness, health,  success and a dearth of glutens.  Keep up the good work. 

      Mark Trocchi


  3. Vince Radzik Says:

    A favorite: The Clown’s Prayer

    As I stumble through this life, help me to create more
    laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom,
    spread more cheer than despair.

    Never let me become so indifferent that I will fail
    to see the wonder in the eyes of a child,
    or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.

    Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people,
    make them happy, and to help them forget, even momentarily,
    any unpleasantness in their lives.

    And in my final moment, may I hear You whisper…
    “When you made My people smile, you made Me smile.”

    • Alicja Mann Says:

      Good to hear from you, Vince!

      Thank you for this poem. I am sure that many are inspired by it. I wonder where did you find it, and who wrote it?

      Thanks again and keep in touch – Alicja

  4. Robin Says:

    What a lovely post to bring in the New Year! May it be a happy one with much joy and laughter; filled with genuine smiles 🙂

  5. Marina G. Says:

    So glad you found yourself a joyful celebration, Alicja! I have never known anyone so dedicated to spreading joy and fostering well-being among family, friends, community. May you flourish in all your endeavors and be on the receiving end of much joy and care, acknowledgment and good fortune, in the year ahead.

    It is one of MY life’s great joys to be your friend!



    • Alicja Mann Says:

      WOW Marina! Your comment made me almost cry – I am speechless! Can’t imagine better wishes for this new 2014 than what you wrote above. These past two years were not the easy ones in my life, so perhaps with such warm and sincere wishes as yours, things will be much better and more joyful. I wish you the same – love, Alicja

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