Joy. I don’t know exactly what it is. Maybe its sun after a long bout of rain, the warmth after winter or my son’s hands working the knots out in my tangled wet hair. We sit on the front porch right after school and talk. He finds me there when he comes down the driveway after the bus drops him off. The sun is warm and robins flutter about.

I don’t know exactly, this joy. How do you define it, how do you know it? Is it like happiness? Does it last long? Can you taste it? I remember one time how perfectly the wine tasted with the halibut. It was early summer and rhubarb was growing. We ate outside near the garden where stout green garlic stalks stood in the dirt. There was too the one lone asparagus poking up from darkness. You said it was the best dinner yet, which is what you say every day. Then the sun set and turned us orange.

Another time the air was cold and stung my checks. I was skating and held my niece in my arms. She was seven and I could hold her in my arms and twirl. That’s what we did until we were too dizzy and then we did it again. Her tiny drops of laughter, like snowflakes, fell all about the afternoon, dangled in the frigid air. How can I describe these snowflakes? Like tiny radiant crystals?

Is this joy?

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