And Now Joy

There you are, standing in your living room.

You look out the window at the trees and dry leaves, as brittle as anything you can imagine, the kind that turn to dust when you close them in your hand, and you feel an overwhelming sense of joy.

You love the leaves and that you live in a world where leaves disintegrate now and return later.

The timing of joy makes no sense. It’s a rapturous feeling that God has poured His love out in a million measurable ways: hot coffee, meaningful work where you grade papers and reward a student for using words like apotheosis and philopatry without pretension but for accuracy, or how you still clap when a student chooses to use monsoons as a verb.

You’re warm and happy. You imagine, for some strange reason, that everything will work out, that all is exactly as it should be, and that later, you’ll take a walk in the cold air and rejoice that you’re alive.

You welcome the peculiar visitor of joy. It comes unannounced, at odd times, and in odd places. You know it by how it invites worship and attention to beautiful, intimate things. Every simple act taps into some larger story, some better, heavenly version to which these exquisite things gesture.

So you gaze out the window. You twirl on your heels to continue grading essays. And joy follows you.

 

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