For how many days I’ve spent in grey spaces and dark places the last couple weeks, yesterday’s colorful Holi celebration was a very graciously received gift. I had never been to a Holi festival before, so this first-time experience was something I couldn’t have even prepared for. I knew it would be fun and colorful, but the extremities of those two characteristics stretched farther than I could’ve dreamt.
I walked onto the designated painting grounds empty handed. I didn’t have time or money to purchase any color powder, but fortunately my friends were willing to share with me. I walked through the developing crowd, my white shirt and jean shorts thirsty for color, and before I knew it I was being splashed with water, and hosed with color from all directions. Smiling strangers greeted me with a splash of yellow to my face, or a dash of purple to ruffle into my hair. With joyful music painting an aural canvas over the crowd, my friends and I danced for hours amongst ourselves and with our overjoyed neighbors.
The beautiful thing about Holi was the bliss uniformly felt amongst everyone in the crowd. Sure, someone must have been disappointed with a mouthful of dye or a dusty eyeball, but the energy was unmistakable. We danced and we sang and we laughed and colored…and for what? Because it’s spring! Because life is good, and beautiful, and now,and always. It was divine in a way, sharing joy with people I loved, and people I didn’t know at all but still seemed to love anyway because they were sharing their joy with me. It was harmonious and unforgettable and I loved every minute of my experience.
I want to find this joy in everything. I want to look for it in places that are hard to find. It’s something I need to train myself to see, because it’s there in every person, place, or event I will experience in my life. There is something good to be seen anywhere I go. That joy that I felt and held witness to yesterday– it didn’t go away. The color may have washed from my skin, but it’s left a stain on my heart.