the quiet

young wife, you have experienced much joy.

sometimes it comes mightily, rolling over you like the ocean waves you danced in, the day he asked and you said yes. it sparkles like the new ring on your finger, sweeps above your head in gusts like the parachute you married him beneath.

sometimes joy comes quietly, falling like the thin layer of snow on your tent in the november mountains. it is there beneath your still-sparkling ring, where the gold has rubbed your skin red from dishwashing and adventures outdoors in the cold. it glows gently like the lights on the tree that, together, you cut and propped up with books because the stores were out of stands, that you planned to decorate but together decided to leave plain, quiet, and wrapped in lights like this joy that fills your heart and your home and your coffee pot on early mornings.

someday joy will come noisily, like the sounds of children’s feet in the hallway and memorizing the multiplication tables and romance interrupted by a baby crying in the night. it will come persistently, like bills and a toddler asking why. it will be no less joy for all that.

right now, it is easy to see joy. it is quiet, uncluttered. young wife, enjoy this tranquil joy. learn to recognize joy in its snowy garb, so that someday, when it comes crashing in like hot-wheels and legos, you will not be deceived by its noisy splendor, will recognize it as your old friend, joy, merely wearing new clothes.

and then, in the someday beyond even that, when the sound has drifted away like children to college and to marriage, joy will cloak itself in quietude once more and return. young wife, when you are no longer young and you are learning once more to cook for two, recognize the return of this quiet joy, steadfast and patient like the hand that still holds yours, and praise your God.

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