Most of you know that I have been hard hit for three years now with many of my everyday friends and students that I taught transitioning, or should I say coming to their exit.

For the last 10 months, so many have gone beyond the sun that I have been having to decide which homegoing service I was going to attend. It has been just that rough. Several days ago, I was going to a homegoing service not feeling anything. I was just numb and in a dry place. I felt no delight.

I pressed the button on the car radio. It was already on 97.7, a Rome station. The clock had just struck noon. A man announced that he was going to be discussing “delight.” At first I thought he said “the light,” but he said it again and I understood. I began to listen, intent on gaining something as I traveled the 20 miles to the place where the service was being held.

I was too dry and unmotivated to even think. But as the radio conversation continued, I began to find delight in what they were sharing.

A young lady explained that the search for delight is a must, in order for man to feel the joy that awaits him. She said delight does not just show up on your doorstep one day and announce itself. Delight is always there, but we must look deep enough to see it.

I was reminded of both my son and granddaughter, when she was in elementary school and became mature enough to stop riding to school in the car.

One day Paris walked up to her dad with a glow and a big smile as she announced she was ready to ride the big school bus. Dad saw the look of delight on her face and could only say “OK.” She said, “Yes!” And as she jumped in the air, her hands were imitating jubilation along with her face. The more delight she showed, the more joy Dad felt.

The radio guest continued, saying that delight must be shared with others in order to fully appreciate it. The woman suggested that each day we should ask God for a mind-set to search for delight — in everything we do and everyone we encounter.

I was listening but a little confused about this journey that God was sending me on. However, I was beginning to feel lighter and all heaviness was leaving. I liked the feeling.

As I listened to the mother share the story of her little boy’s first school bus ride, I thought at the same time about my son and granddaughter.

Paris was just beside herself with glee about her new delight. Dad looked at her joy and I am sure he was also remembering his first experience on the bus without his mom. He was excited that his child was excited to ride the bus. They both were feeling the delight as they walked down the street to the bus stop.

Paris asks, “Are you going to stay with me until my bus arrives?” Dad says, “Yes, I can. Do you want me to?” He did not want to reduce an ounce of her delight.

Paris hesitated, to sort out in her mind if the bus ride would be the same if Dad waits with her. She evidently concluded that it would give her more delight if Dad stands there watching her little baby legs step upon the big bus. She answered, “Yes Daddy, I want you to stay with me.”

She then turned to Dad and says, “We have been standing here for about an hour and my bus has not yet arrived.” Dad says, “No, not so. We have only been here for 5 minutes.”

Finally, there was a big yellow bus coming like a giant monster. It made the usual noises of big vehicles — the braking, the noise of the stop sign coming out, the noise of the pressurized-doors as they are opened.

Her language has now changed from “the” big school bus to “my” big school bus. “My bus is here!” she calls out as if her Dad could not see. The delight is contagious — and when we are feeling delightful, we too can share it with others.

If we work hard at it, everything that we experience can bring us delight.

By the time I arrived at the place where the homegoing services were to be held, I realized that I had a painted smile on my face. Just remembering the delight experienced by my granddaughter gave me a most delightful feeling.

I entered the church and sat with that most pleasant feeling in my spirit. I did not want to wipe the look away for fear that I would return to feeling sad and burdened. I wanted to keep that feeling of delight, and I did.

As the deceased’s life story was shared, I felt the delight that she had bestowed on others. Seeing her in the casket did not erase the smile from my face nor the peace in my soul. Finding delight is like finding the light.

My first thought was not too far off after all. I had found the light.

Willie Mae Samuel is a playwright and a director in Rome. She is the founder and director of the African American Connection of the Performing Arts Inc. and a 2020 Heart of the Community Award of Honor recipient.

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