Back into Joy

Sunday evening was clear and luminous so we went to the star-watching rock and welcomed the arrival of each star with a blast of trumpet. We lay there, in an odd assortment of coats; I had on an embroidered coat a friend had bought in Dubrovnik; the two girls had on ancient fur coats; and we were covered with blankets. We needed them, even though the rock itself still held the warmth of the sun, our own star, and radiated a gentle heat to us as we lay there and watched the sky, blowing the trumpets and sharing a can of insect repellent and listening to the crickets and the katydids and trying to identify the other night singers, and then outsinging them with all the nursery rhymes and songs and hymns we could think of which had stars and alleluias in them.

And I was totally back in joy. I didn’t realize I had been out of it, caught in small problems and disappointments and frustrations, until it came surging back. It was as radiant as the rock, and I lay there, listening to the girls trumpeting, and occasionally being handed one of the trumpets so that I could make a loud blast myself, and I half expected to hear a herd of elephants come thundering across the far pastures in answer to our call.

And joy is always a promise.

Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet

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