Joy is the giant snowflakes that fell last Thursday night after a solid day of rain. The temperature dipped below freezing and the water turned to slush then white fluffy flakes. Dee ran outside and took photos with her iPhone, she later showed me the flakes, which looked to be about the size of big white apple blossom clusters.
Joy is the bed Jim made for us on the patio the night of the lunar eclispe. I’d fallen asleep on the living room couch, the girls in their beds, and he roused us all from sleep. Come on out, he said, I have a cozy spot for you to lay down. We piled into the sleeping bags that he’d placed on a mattress, then he covered us with a Pendleton blanket and another blanket, we were warm and for about a half hour, up to midnight, we could see shadow creep across the lower right hand corner of the moon.
Joy is the woman who I saw standing in front of Walmart with her Salvation Army bell and kettle, she was thin, wore a red sweater and red Santa hat, but other than that she had no costume, and I admired her courage to stand in front of the automatic doors as shoppers walked all around her, in and out, in and out, paying her little mind. She shook that bell, smiled at everyone and said Merry Christmas. What drives a woman my age to be on that side of the shopping experience?, I wondered and wished we could trade places so that I could ring and remember that this was the true meaning of Christmas.
Joy is the Christmas lights last night, a pale blue, the kind you know have been around for decades, each year more of the blue paint on the bulbs chips away or fades until what remains is a ghost of the color covering the white light, an uneven string of blue, blue-white, white, all around the roofline of the house. Those are my favorite lights although I love any place that’s lit up, this is, after all, the season of light.
Joy is our Christmas tree, it’s a live one, or rather, cut, and we don’t usually go in for buying cut trees but we got one this year, I like the way it’s not perfect or symmetrical, how big vacant spots open up between boughs and even after I hang three or four ornaments in them I still see plenty of empty space.
Joy is sitting in a cafe with friends, drinking too much coffee, not thinking about what you still have to do or not do, just being present to the moment, Joy is Taos in December, sit walk write, just being, just sitting, just writing.
Joy is the few minutes I have left in this write, the sound of the space heater, the taste of coffee with soy milk, the Christmas cards I got even though I once again didn’t get mine out on time, Joy is the misshappen tamales I made with Mom and Bobbi and the girls, they will be the laughing stock of Christmas Eve, and see?, that’s Joy.
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