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The sun is streaming, like strands of melted sugar,

the light twists in the air, warm and bright

I can almost taste springtime today,

that’s how beautiful it is.

The band starts playing and all the kids run to the front.

They grab rhythm instruments, shaking and tapping

out of beat. They laugh and sing.

I sing too, hardly able to stop the smile on my face.

And I swear, my soul is shouting so loudly,

that everyone around me

must be able to hear it through my chest.

Like having been underwater too long and

taking that first big breath of air,

joy is filling every inch of my body,

both a sense of relief and a rush of excitement.

My feet tap and I can barely keep still.

I want to dance.

I want to write.

I want to pick my way over boulders and climb to the top of a mountain

and yell until my lungs burn and then

laugh until my stomach hurts.

Joy.

Joy because life is beautiful.

Joy because an earthquake rolled a stone away from a grave

and in doing so

made the walls I’d built up in my heart come crashing down.

Joy because of Jesus.

Joy because of little kids who struggle with English

but seem to have no problem laughing at my mistakes in their language.

Joy because I can feel breath moving in and out of my lungs

Joy because I am alive

and I will sing to prove it.

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