Elation is a hard emotion to define or to capture in a handful of words, or even a picture for that matter. We all know when we are feeling it, but it is fleeting and can't be used to describe enjoying something routine, like morning coffee, or sitting down to that next row of knitting. It is easy to feel happy, but elation is a whole other category.
Sometimes I feel elation briefly when I view something spectacularly beautiful... a waterfall, wildflowers, a painting or a beautifully worked piece of lace. But really, a better word choice would be admiration or awe. Elation comes unexpectedly and can't be sought or depended upon, though I did feel elated immediately after the delivery of each of my three children (but, then of course, everything had gone well!).
Elation does meet me in the high mountains, though... and getting out on the snow with my son and daughter to snowboard have brought some of those rare moments to me over the years....
Cody and I... I am wearing a hat that I made for him almost three years ago while he was staying with us and recuperating from emergency surgery for a bad break in his femur that occurred while out on heavy, wet, spring snow. Sometimes, we are elated just because we live in an era when a person can be surgically healed and return to something that brought them so much joy.
Nikki and I... we have learned together over the years, and still are only barely intermediate, but for me the joy is in being there. I heard some news about acquaintances last week that brought me up short, cleared the cobwebs of self-pity at being sick away and made my problems seem small and insignificant. I could still get well (and am finally starting to!), I could still work and pay my own way, I could walk, in fact I could ride down the hill and bask in the mountain's sun... it was a
good zen day.