Tears of Joy

I’ve mentioned before that I am a hugger. You don’t need to be in my circle of friends or acquaintances for very long before, barring some egregious act on your part (which of course, you would never do, right?), I’ll offer you a hug. I can’t help myself; I think the world needs more hugs, especially these days.

But I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned that I’m also a crier. A happy crier to be precise.

Just this morning, as I was enjoying my one and only cup of coffee of the day and browsing social media, I happened upon a video on Facebook. It shows a man who, while singing “All I Ask of You” in a square somewhere in London (if the captions are accurate), is joined by the woman who is currently singing the lead in Phantom of the Opera at Covent Garden.

What follows is three minutes of unmitigated joy; he is quite literally squirming with delight as he processes what is happening and then relaxes into the moment and all its amazement. By the end of the 3:42, tears were streaking my cheeks. His joy was mine and it was so plentiful, it came out in teardrops.

Is it stress relief?

We’ve all be under so much pressure for so long, it must be just plain old stress relief, no? No. I’ve done this for years. Decades. Allow me to take you back…

Growing up I had always wanted to go to Paris; the charm and beauty of the city has called to me for as long as I can remember. On my first visit, as I was being driven by my host from the airport, upon my first sighting of the Eiffel Tower, I cried. I couldn’t believe I was finally in the city I had loved from afar for so long and I was overwhelmed with how beautiful it was.

I’ve been to Paris four more times since then and every single time, upon first sighting of that iconic tower, I cry.

I cried way back when my then-husband and I took our boys to Disney World. My parents had taken me once, not long after the park had opened (yes, I’m that old). Seeing them running with excitement down Main Street USA, in the very place I had skipped along so many years before, made me cry.

Is it the music?

There will be no snide remarks here about musical theatre in general or Phantom of the Opera in particular. I’ve always loved musical theatre and have been known to be a cast member of more than one high school production. Thankfully, this was long before social media was a thing so there is no lingering evidence. But it’s not just the music stirring up a reaction.

When the touring exhibit of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings came to the AGO a few years ago, I cried when I first laid eyes on her piece, Oriental Poppies. It was just so amazingly beautiful to me.

I cried when John and I took a detour while driving out here to visit Lake Louise. I’d seen photographs but the impact of seeing it rising up before us was profound. Even shrouded with the smoke from the ever-present wildfires across BC wasn’t enough to dull the impression left on me.  

I cry when I see my sons now that I live so far away from them.

It’s just tears of joy

And I like that I cry. I would be sad to go through this life and not feel this much; feel so much that it busts out. It is a great release and I’m always lifted from feeling it.

I hope something today makes you cry tears of joy and that, whatever that something is, that you share it with someone you love.

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