Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by. Carl Sandburg

Spring sprints through the desert. Just as you sink into the perfect temperatures and admire the flowers that bloom out of the cacti, summer announces its entrance. To capture spring’s essence, you must act fast. Yesterday I felt an urgency to celebrate spring in a unique way. Part of my need stemmed from my desire to participate in an abridged festival of colors and to share a new tradition with our daughter.

We ventured to the park in the mountains. As we drove along the curved road, we saw hikers, people walking under umbrellas, and whispers of color in the air. Not knowing what to expect, we parked our car and our daughter raced in front of us. Standing in line, she noticed the rainbow of Ziploc bags filled with powdered color. Pink and purple, of course, made eyes at her. We grabbed our color of choice and raced toward the communal crayola playground.

Chasing each other, we extended our hands and smeared the powdered sand on each other. Hair became pink and red. Purple and yellow streaks glided across our foreheads and amidst all of this we laughed and fell into the joy. Our daughter kept running around throwing snowballs of pink and purple hoping that it splattered on her intended target. What I witnessed for a full hour, I will never forget. Unscripted joy among my family, friends, and strangers. Bollywood music blasted from the speakers, people danced not caring about the beat or who watched, and the smell puri, chole, and rice lingered in the air. My daughter downed a mango lassi within a few minutes and I giggled as an orange-white moustache formed an outline around her mouth.

Bathing in joy, I sought to memorialize this abundance. As I stare at this picture, I gaze at our smiles, my daughter’s pose, and how we look so comfortable even though we look like a messy painting palette. Unscripted joy.

We caught spring yesterday.