You’re driving along an open road. The sun is shining down. There is a warm breeze flowing through your open windows. And the perfect song comes onto the radio. One where you know all of the lyrics, and yet feel like you have not heard it in forever. You crank it up and roll down your windows. A song this perfect cannot be contained in one car. It needs to be shared with the rest of the world. Maybe they will get to experience this perfect moment with you. Or at least they will smile at the driver who is banging out a drum solo on the steering wheel.
In times of joy, we need to invite others to come into that good space with us. Just like we need to include others when we are in times of sorrow or phases of defiance. If they choose to join in or not, that is their choice. And then we get to make a choice the next time if we want to invite them, or someone else instead.
Invitation is something I keep thinking about as I look through some photos from a trip to the zoo last weekend. I insisted on extra time at the otter tank because they are my favorite animals to watch. I think it’s because they seem to be enjoying life so much. Among the four creatures in the tank, one was diving under the surface, two were wrestling on the surface, and the last one was chilling out (literally) in a box with ice cubes. They were close enough that I could imagine them talking to one another, and still free to play as they wanted to. One of the wrestlers either won or gave up (it was hard to tell) and went toward the one on the shore. It seemed like he was inviting his friend into the water, promising it would be more fun that the warm rocks and icy box. We walked on before I could see how the encounter ended, but bet that they were both under the water before I was out of the area.
The swimming otter was inviting a friend into his play, to spend time alongside him. And on a perfect sunny day, that makes perfect sense. All they needed was that song on the radio and I would have wanted to dive in too.