After the year turns I hike to the mountaintop and find Joy there.? She does not fly off, fearless as she is, when I approach but stays perched in her treetop squeaking out her happy call.? Its nothin but sky up here, clouds brushed out horizon to horizon.? The only sound’s the winter surf far below and the wind in your ears and the pines.? A few weeks into winter and its oddly balmy even up here today.? Manzanita are already tossing out their pearly bell flowers and there’s a spring green in things even under the thin hazy winter sky. Like, you know, how sometimes in life a thing you really need comes at a time when everything else is sorta dead, or sleeping?? Like a love arriving late in life, or when you receive a sweet kind act and really let it land in the midst of depression?? Water is like that here in our Western winters – the air so thin, the sunlight so stingy, the plants all sleeping – it is only then the sky is so generous with rain that life springs up out of everything anyway. Fields of mustard celebrate, shout out golden blooms.? Everything else glowing green underneath.? I pause in my journaling, what else did I want to say?? Only this: shhhh. Look up. The sun sets right now.