A joy that’s shared is a joy made double. – Chinese proverb.
The Chinese are right. A beautiful view looked at on one’s own is a beautiful view. Just that. A beautiful view shared with another becomes a feast for the eyes, and exploration of what makes up that beauty, and shared food for the soul.
A book read on one’s own is the key to entering another world. It has been said often enough that books can keep one company for life. They can. When the content of that novel or non-fiction book becomes a shared experience with another, however, a deeper appreciation may result; a different viewpoint could be developed; at the very least it provides food for interesting discussions. Such sharing in our Book Club leads to laughter, differences of opinion, anecdotes, comparisons, and even some serious discussions accompanying the wine.
We can all appreciate a beautiful sunset on our own. Noted. Some individuals may, however, experience a tinge of Hesperian depression as the bright colours are muted and give way to the duller greys and finally become absorbed by the darkness and the prospect of the night ahead. A sunset viewed with a companion can warm the heart and soften the sharp edge of the approach of night.
I celebrate the appearance of blossoms in our garden and the development of the vegetables with those who enter it – as I do the arrival of the Lesser-striped Swallows in the spring or witnessing a Knysna Lourie drinking from the bird bath.
I share the result of my baking and the food I prepare for that Chinese proverb holds more than a grain of truth: a shared joy does increase the enjoyment.