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I’ve got joy on my mind.  Perhaps it’s because I’m finding less time to visit with it.

While I figure out how to invite it in more often, I’m noticing how we find comfort in so much other than joy, like bonding over hurt and annoyances and complaints.  In figuring out what where my attention should go, I realize I want to connect less on there being too much work or feeling really tired or things are just seeming ridiculously hard.  And though all of that may be the truth, there is an equally true opposite point of view.

So the question becomes, which frame of reference will you claim?

I do my best to look towards the light, both in reality and metaphorically, and though I’m often guilty of it, I’d rather not succumb to the tendency to be that girl who bonds over her wounds.

Today is the most beautiful, sunny autumn day, the kind that still holds onto the sweet promises of summer.  I’m sitting outside, listening to other people’s conversations.  I’d rather not talk about how the sun can burn or how blindingly bright it is or how photos come out more interesting when it’s cloudy.

I’d rather stand in the sun and marvel at how warm it is, how it lights my life, how it fills my soul. How its vivid light may block the view of what’s in front of me, but forces me to see in ways beyond my eyesight. How good it feels to bask in the happy beauty of its yellow light.

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I’d rather talk about how the sun equals joy.

I’d rather tell you about the band playing in the park as I write this, how the singer’s voice is deeply soulful—singing in that way that makes you feel deep
down in your soul—how it is the perfect soundtrack for this unusually warm day, how it feels like the epitome of joy.

This is what I would tell you today.  And just the acknowledgement of that fills me with joy.

xo, with goodness and grace.

My 10-year-old nephew visited this week, always a joyful treat.  One day we hung out at Chelsea Piers, and after playing some sports, we walked along the Hudson River.  I, as I’m prone to do, started taking photographs.  He reached out to my phone and said, “Can I take a picture?”

Pointing straight at the sun, he hit the shutter.  One snap and he was done.

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I love that somehow we all instinctively gravitate towards the light, even at an early age.  I love to be among light chasers.

My intention was to write about the light.

This morning I was reminded that the universe’s best gifts are often offered up when the rest of the world is still sleepily tucked in. Up earlier than I normally like to be, my plan was to go to the office while it was peaceful and I could be productively alone. I walked around my apartment with a thousand thoughts in my head and was distractedly trying to figure out what to wear .

Then I looked out the window.

I don’t know why the sight of it always surprises me. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been gloomy and rainy for more days that I can remember, or because I’ve gotten in the habit of hitting snooze five times so I get out of bed when the sun is already up.

But it still surprises me, the beauty of it. I looked up and caught my breath, mesmerized by the magic of the rising light. The sun was rising and its light bathed the trees in front of my window in heavenly rays of lavender and peach and amber and gold.

It’s a sight that I always want to hold on to. But then – like mostly anything you try to cling to – it’s gone, as quickly as it came.

The trick, I’ve learned, is understanding that though you cannot hold onto the light with your eyes, you can hold it in your soul. You can invite the feeling it gives you to stay for a while longer, to unhook you from the madness that life can bring, to turn your head to pay attention to beauty.

I wanted to write about the light. But I see that the light is much more than an ethereal glow on a branch. The light is what’s inside, what flips the switch in you and implores you to take notice of what’s right in front of you.

It’s what brings the magic to an ordinary day and makes the next morning something to look forward to.

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