Updated: Mar 30, 2022
Joy can come to us in many forms. What makes one person happy may not mean a damn to another. But if it makes you blissful, as long as you're not causing any harm, I say roll with it.
In this case of merriment, I was driving home from work listening to a song called "Down Yonder" written by a gentleman named L. Wolfe Gilbert. Gilbert wrote the song in 1921. The version I was listening to was recorded by Willie Nelson in 1975 for his album Red Headed Stranger.
Nelson's version of "Down Yonder" is one minute and 56 seconds and for about five seconds of the song I felt such happiness that I couldn't contain myself. I burst into laughter I was so happy. If you're interested here's the formula:
"Down Yonder" (Willie Nelson Version) + Car Ride + Man Walking Small Dog = Joy
I've already discussed the first two parts of the equation. The song, of course, and that I was in a car. It doesn't really matter if you're driving, a passenger, or where you're headed. The key is that you are in a car that is in motion. The last part of the equation, "Man Walking Small Dog" is just as important as the first two parts. Although it doesn't necessarily have to be a man, so we'll change it to "Human Walking Small Dog". And if you're wondering if "Small Dog" matters compared to say "Big Dog" or "Medium Dog" it does. Big dogs tend to lumber as they walk. While the gait of a medium dog is too perfect. Only the frantic leg hustle of a small dog will work for this joy equation.
So here's how it went down:
I rounded a bend in the road, the tempo and timbre of "Down Yonder" had already put me in a pretty pleasant mood. I was also enjoying the act of driving; hands on the wheel, foot on the gas, glancing in the mirror, all of it. Most of the time driving can be, say, robotic, but in this instance, I was quite taken with the act. And it was at this point that I spotted a man, around 5'9, dark hair, walking what appeared to be a Jack Russell Terrier. The terrier was really working, tongue hanging out, legs moving fast, the whole bit. And it was at this moment as I approached our duo that I locked into pure joy. The song, the driving, and the man/dog walking got to me in the best way.
I laughed, feeling the best I had since I don't know when. I continued on my way home, confident that I had just experienced one of the highlights of my life.