Because joy…..

I posted a snippet yesterday and then plucked it back down again
because I’ve been a little frazzled
and I didn’t trust my words to land true.
So many swirling around like birds – not sure if they were ready to light
or if they needed to linger in flight until they perch for you to read.
So I’ll share instead what the river seemed to sing
as I watched her tumble smiling across the rocks:

That even in the noise and swirl there is reason enough,  and grace,
to gather up the edges of my hope
and shake it out hard so I can lose the fluff
and draw up solid around me what remains
like a blanket in the night
to feel the strong warm
against my heart

of what may be coming
around that scary-looking corner up ahead
and all of the dark unknown that seems to cry danger
and warning and this is the moment just before the other shoe drops
and then won’t you feel stupid for all the joy you held foolish like a silly child
so busily enchanted in your sandbox that you didn’t see the storm in time to run.

Those are the bony fingers that come for my joy in the night,
rattling that it’s a fool’s errand to celebrate beauty
and cultivate gratitude
because shelter is not built in such ways
feeling it all so deeply is not a luxury
you can afford.

Better to numb it all down,
the cold wind hisses,
and brace yourself against
whatever is to come.

But as I watch the waters tumble and trust-fall undaunted down
into wild places they’ve never been,  all of that whitewater
singing fearless joy in a brave language
that I’m longing to learn,
I feel a wisdom in the joy
that rises high above the
voice of my anxious rumblings
and makes sense
of hope.

My heart settles there today,
trusting,  leaning, and tumbling headlong into the Hope
who is loving presence and tender mercy and solution and strategy and peace.
Anchoring my soul in this gives space for my joy to get loud and colorful and do the bright work
of making this moment delicious and this life worth all of the even gnarly,  often heart-breaking living.

Fight for joy in this strange season,  friend;
Don’t go ’round without it’s medicine.

“Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience.
And if you cannot tolerate joy,  what you do is start dress-rehearsing tragedy.”
– Brene’ Brown

Congratulations to Jeanie of Marmalade Gypsy
– your name popped up in the drawing for a copy of Tell Me Something Good

which arrives fresh from the West Coast tomorrow.  I’ll be sending it out this week!

Offering another giveaway this week – leave a comment and your name goes in the warm fuzzy hat.



  1. Elephants Child on November 30, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    I so often turn to nature – for solace, for beauty, for inspiration AND for joy.
    And your words dance, sing and fill me with envy and with awe.
    Just as nature does.
    Thank you dear friend.

  2. Julia JULIA Bourque on November 30, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Congratulations on your beautiful new book Jennifer. May it bring you and those who read it a mountain of joy.
    Hugs, Julia

  3. jeanie on December 5, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Your words are a tonic for these times. I’m sorry I’m just seeing this today, Jennifer. I’m delighted to be the winner! More than delighted! Thank you!

    • jennifer on December 8, 2020 at 5:11 pm

      Tonic – what an awesome word:) I Love that:)
      Thanks for your kindness. Your book is in the mail:)

  4. Susan on December 5, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    I love your heart so much and I’ll try to follow your wise advice.

    • jennifer on December 8, 2020 at 5:11 pm

      Susan I drew your name so have sent your book along to find you:)
      Happy to gift you and thanks for your always encouraging words,

      • Kathy Ammon on December 8, 2020 at 10:11 pm

        this was wonderful, your words are meant to be savored and linger with the imagery, yet they also lead me quickly at times like the tumbling of the water in this view. you amaze with your painted words so carefully constructed into works of art and spirit.

        • jennifer on January 1, 2021 at 12:34 pm

          Thank you for these encouraging words:) Means so much to this heart of mine.
          I love that you experience my creations this way – thanks for sharing:)
          And a most beautiful beginning to this fresh-born year
          to you,

  5. Louise Gallagher on December 20, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Dearest Jennifer,

    Your book arrived today. Even Canada Post is delivering on Sundays – mostly I’m sure because they knew what precious beauty was contained within the box on which you’d handwritten my name and address.
    Beaumont barked when the mailman dropped the box by the front door. I yelled a ‘Thank you! to his retreating back as I carried the box into the house.
    when I opend it, I gaspd with delight and then… made myself an eggnog latte to join me and your book curled up on the chaise by the big window overlooking the river.
    The sun is bright today. The river runs slow as ice begins to expand its water’s molecules. And my heart expands with gratitude and delight.
    I’m only sorry I only ordered 3 because there are others whom I know would savour your words of beauty and images of delight.

    Thank you my friend for being such a brilliant, beautiful light in this world.
    And thank you for my hour of respite curled up, drinking latte, ready and looking and savouring all you share.

    Much love.

    A very blessed Christmas to you and yours.

    • jennifer on January 1, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      Joy, joy, joy:)
      So glad to hear that they found good homes with you:)
      I appreciate your kind words – encourages me.
      Sending big hope for a new year full of light-soaked days and peaceful nights.
      And your dreams growing thick on the vine:)
      – Jennifer

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