Joy. 'Tis the season of Joy! Joy is an ineffable emotion. We know it when we see it, but its exuberance is hard to capture in words. We know it when we hear an infant laugh, or when a puppy licks our face. We feel joy when we see the sparkle of recognition in the eyes of a friend. Joy captures us whether we hear professional voices singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" or ordinary carolers offering "tidings of comfort and joy." We can taste it and smell it when we go home and Mom's apple pie comes out of the oven. Joy is the spiritual uplift of our deep feelings of faith at this time of year, and the deep quiet certitude of peace watching the heart fire. Joy is the overwhelming love for the warm safe embrace of a spouse, or the banter of our raucous and tender children and grandchildren. We see it in the slow sacred beauty of a lingering sunset, and hear it in the rush of wind through pine needles. Joy lifts us out of our seats at the completion of a Hail Mary Pass when our favorite team's hopes seem dashed.
Joy is both a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. Maya Angelou writes that "we need joy as we need air." Our human hearts cannot thrive; our human spirits cannot take flight; if we do not have joy. Marianne Williamson says that "Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."
May you and yours, during this holiday season, take the time recognize and know how good things really are, find the joy that rejuvenates your breath, and kindles that deep faith and profound love which live hand in hand with exuberant joy.
Happy Holidays to you all!