A Letter from Our “Mary”

A Little Mary Poppins Chaos (Can Be a Good Thing)

Mr. Banks’ life was turned topsy-turvy with the arrival of Mary Poppins.

“My world was calm, well ordered, exemplary
Then came this person, with chaos in her wake
And now my life’s ambitions go with one fell blow
It’s quite a bitter pill to take”

He soon discovered, however, that his calm, well ordered, exemplary life was well served by the disruption. His life’s trajectory soared like a kite once he discovered something which mattered much more. Mr. Banks needed that chaos to learn that Bert’s suggestion was true:

“A spoonful of sugar that is all it takes
It changes bread and water into tea and cakes”

“Calm, well ordered” may have its place. But there is a sweetness that is wild, untamed, and unpredictable just waiting to be claimed: JOY. And joy has a greater impact than “calm and well ordered.” Joy may lead us on a wild, tumultuous chase and may bring unexpected endings, but JOY—not pleasure, not happiness, but true joy—can change the direction of our lives, and have a larger influence.

Joy is not saccharine sweet or syrupy; it is outrageous and extravagant, having tea parties on the ceiling, investing its tuppence in lavish endeavors. Joy is always captivating, enticing, delightful, as Mr. Banks discovered. Mother Teresa said that “Joy is a net by which we catch souls.” There is SAFE, and then there is JOY. At my age, I am learning the difference between and the values of these two choices we can make. If my life has a net, I hope it is a net of joy, not of bread and water, but of tea and cakes.

In the coming year, I wish you the courage to seek joy, and I hope you will find it. This may mean taking the time to step through a sidewalk picture, or you might need to mend that broken kite and get out into the wild, whipping wind with it. But at this time of new beginnings, please accept my best wishes for a joy-filled, tea-and-cakes kind of year.

Yours for JOY,
Mary Alice Higbie