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Each of us has our own personal definition of joy. Looking back over my life, I see that there are certain things that have consistently brought me joy throughout my life, such as music, art, writing, travel, great food and beautiful wine. As I have evolved, so has my capacity for joy.
Sometimes a moment of true joy can smack you right upside of your head, quite unexpectedly. For me this moment came recently in the form of an Australian nickname. Thanks to my husband Rupe, I am truly blessed to have been a part of the amazing Webb family for five years now. For those of you readers who don’t know much about Australia or Australians, they are a hearty, lively and loving bunch. They love to party and play and are the most loyal, fun loving group of people you will ever meet in your life.
One of the things I find most endearing about Australians is how they give each other nicknames. For example, a guy who has the last name/surname of “Right,” gets the nickname of, “Lefty.” He is called “Lefty” forever more, until the day he dies. As an “Outsider,” meaning you are not Australian by birth, normally you don’t get a Australian nickname. It’s not mean or anything. It just doesn’t happen normally. However, sometimes it does.
I had the distinct honor to receive my own nickname only recently from my native Australian son, Kev. He walked up to me in the kitchen of their home, smiled and said, “I think it’s about time Mary Anne that you got your own nickname! How about Meza?” Then Kev grinned, and announced to the world in a loud, guttural voice, “Mezzaaaaaaaaaaaah” I felt like I was going through some sort of ancient Australian Baptism. I was now “Mezza,” and that was that.
A week later, Kev’s wife Marnie, my daughter in law, had two sets of wine glasses made, one set for my house and one for hers, with a little queen’s crown and my new Australian nickname engraved on them: Mezza. It’s official. I am forevermore here in Australia to be known as “Mezza.” I have a wine glass to prove it. Not only that, for Mothers Day, Marnie, Kev, and our two grandchildren, Jake and Olivia, sent me a flower arrangement, chocolates and my favorite (to date) Australian wine called, Pepperjack. The best part? The card that had the word, “Mum” written on it. I think this is what they mean when they say, “Heaven On Earth.” That kind of joy is immeasurable and priceless.
William Shakespeare said, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” For me, I could ever have imagined that one day I would be living in Australia, or belong to an Australian family, let alone have my own Australian nickname. That would just not have been even possible for me to conceive of early in my life.
However, over the course of our lives, many unexpected experience and moments of joy come in all kinds of ways, and from all kinds of unexpected places. You never know where or when your joy will come. Sometimes, we even find own true and authentic joy after a period of wandering around in desert darkness. But for all of us, joy will come, just like the promise of a new dawn.
What has brought you real joy in your life? Please feel free to share in the comments below.