The sight and scent of lilacs in my backyard last for such a short time but bring me immense joy. We have a lilac bush that we bought years ago as a tiny plant from the McLaughlin Garden in South Paris, Maine. The flowers are pink and this year, they were in abundance.

A month ago, I took a picture, which I shared on the Catching Health Facebook page. I also decided that for the next 30 days I would continue sharing pictures of things that brought me joy.

At the end of each update, I asked my followers this question: What brought you joy today?

So many people have responded and some have even posted pictures. It’s been inspiring — I love it!

Moments of joy

We get so caught up in the business of our lives that day after day we let moments slip by without recognizing the ones that bring us joy. Sometimes they’re unmistakable because they flaunt themselves so wildly but too often they’re far more elusive.

An important thing I’ve learned from this experience is that if you consciously look for joy, it will find you.

It’s been so much fun (and joyful) that I’ve decided to continue posting moments of joy here on the blog. I’ll begin by sharing the Facebook posts and responses from the past month. I  hope you’ll join us by sharing your own moments of joy.

Pink lilacs

Here are the first six: (May 21, 2015) I  just went outside and was overwhelmed by the sweet scent of lilacs. Took a picture so I could share with you and have decided that for the next 30 days I’m going to post a daily picture of something that brings me joy. What brings you joy?

  • I think lilacs are my favorite – along with iris- so many colors and hollyhocks. LOVE those. Fortunately we have all three in Santa Fe, in abundance. Joy is a big enough word to fill many years. I have been pondering on Grace as well. As in gracious and graceful – full of grace. Janet
  • Today, the lilacs and apple trees in my yard! And yesterday, it was my new iron. I decided last year that “joy” was the Word of the Year. Joy is so good that it’s 2015’s word too. Martha
  • Love those flowers!!!!!! Larry
  • Porter brings me joy!!! Also, Diane, you bring me joy!!! Mary
Porter May 2015
Mary’s grandson Porter
  • Lilacs! We are currently camping in LaGrande, Oregon and the fragrance of lilacs is everywhere. Kathy
  • Lilacs are awesome! That fact that I can get up in the morning and put my two feet on the floor. Toni
  • Love lilacs, and all the beauty of Spring in New England Louise
Anne raising her glass to us
Anne says cheers!

(May 22, 2015) I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Been a bit grumpy. But now we’re out with our friends Anne and Paul and I feel joyful. Anne says her wine is filled with antioxidants. Cheers! What brought you joy today?

  • Finally getting the time to bleach my deck getting ready for the next step of staining. It was hard work however I was surrounded by the birds feeding close by and I enjoyed the nature all around. Bonus was no bugs! Brenda
  • I worked this afternoon at the Center for Maine Craft, meeting tourists, answering questions about Maine…and selling beautiful crafts made by Maine people….love my job! Billiann
  • Sunshine and bird songs. Kathleen
  • Seeing my grandson!! Julie
  • My trillium has returned. Jennifer
Jennifer's trillium
Jennifer’s trillium 
Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain

(May 23, 2015) Just returned from a lovely walk with my husband, daughter and son-in-law along Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT. What brought you joy today?

  • Early morning gardening with all those wonderful spring smells. Cathy
  • Getting my flower beds clean that out and all my plants planted. MaryBeth
  • I was just in Burlington for Graduation last weekend….wish our paths had crossed!!!! Mary
  • The beautiful sunny day. Jo
  • Helping a friend do yard work. Brenda
  • Lots of yard work! So much new growth! Maureen
  • I saw a Baltimore Oriole (up close) feeding in the old apple tree. Jennifer
  • lilacs everywhere. Maria
  • My old habitat back in the day! Jeffrey
Painting of marbles
Found her marbles!

(May 24, 2015) I painted this closeup of a jar of marbles in my mixed media painting class. We were practicing glazing with acrylics. I was looking at it a few minutes ago and felt pleased with what I accomplished. What brought you joy today?

  • Watching the young cousins play together at our family gathering today…precious! Jennifer
Cousins at reunion
Cousins at the family reunion
  • Doing ground work with Chance the Wonder Horse and having him trot perfectly in both directions, stopping on command, and not running me down! Mary
  • Planting flowers in the cemetery where my family — three generations — are buried. Kathleen
  • Having a good time tonight with great friends. Lots of laughter which is good for the soul! Brenda
  • Having an extra day off tomorrow. ;- P Jo
My daughter's cat
Sleepy kitty

(May 25, 2015) Joy showed itself first thing this morning when my daughter’s cat wriggled under the quilt and snuggled up next to me. What brought you joy today?

  • Cute Kitty! Vanessa
  • I’ve been trying to lose weight with walking and eating less and was invited out Friday, had dinner plans with friends last night and a cookout today at friends. Wondering what I was going to eat and was really happy that someone made a big salad with lots of good stuff in it and someone else did watermelon and blueberries. I was able to stay not too far off track except for dessert and got my 10,000 steps before going. Brenda
  • A visit to see our mom today.. That’s what brought me joy today.. Becky
My mother and sister Becky
Bev and Becky!
  • We all need reminders to really enjoy and appreciate all the little things in life that really are big things… thanks Diane! Let’s meet for lunch or a walk or something some day? Kathy
  • A butterscotch sundae! Jennifer
Delicious artichoke

(May 26, 2015) I LOVE artichokes, especially when they’re on sale. I don’t know which makes me happier — finding this beauty at the market or anticipating how good it will taste for lunch tomorrow. What brought you joy today?

  • The soothing sound of surf … Jennifer
  • Sunshine & lilacs Louise

Help spread the joy — share your moment in the comment section below.

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Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. She now hosts and produces...