Joy is not elation or intensity, but a steady pilot light in the soul,
ever-ready to ignite, waiting without impatience through seasons
of darkness and cold, a dormant violet-blue flame that burns hottest,
resting so near to the Source, patient for our awakening wonder
reaching to engage it.
Live past the point of tears, into the regions of Joy.
Happiness means to be in harmony with what happens.
One cannot always be happy, for horrid things happen
daily in the world, worthy of distress and compassion.
The body succumbs to the scars laid on it by time,
and its workings are not always happy.
The mind and heart, too, can break away from happiness
under overwhelming stress.
Mind and heart seem to break clean through.
Joy does not depend on aye or nay circumstance
in regions of the pursuit and practice of happiness.
Joy exists in the soul as a sovereign and radiant place,
a free and independent state.
Even in sorrow, its presence breaks through anew,
crossing bridges of loss as sunlight crosses a river,
with the promise of whole-hearted faithfulness—
Joy reveals itself, the fact of itself, in new possibilities,
at once inviting us into them and assuring us that they are alive
deep inside us, a gathering light deeper than grief, where all is well.
This poem is from the book Postcards from Paradise by Alla Renée Bozarth,
copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.