• Helen Cottee

Plain Sight

I used to find joy

In wild, loud experiences,

On mountain tops

And in large auditoriums

Of raised arms and collective euphoria.

I found it in co-creating a world

For the redeemed

And in building, building, building.

These days that

seems so exhausting to me.

I miss it,

Or maybe I don’t.

Maybe I just miss

The joy that rippled through it.

I thought joy had left me

But I think she was

Simply hiding out

In plain sight:

In dark evenings speckled

with the flicker of candlelight,

Of hands pressed into cool soil,

Of an upturned face

Spritzed with soft winter rain,

Of the smell of bread

And the feel of my son

Wrapped in a long, unhurried hug,

Tucked into my arms

Like a puzzle piece

That has continued to grow with me.

Joy is simpler

This side of the mountain.

It no longer requests me

To prove myself

Or convert others

Or exhaust myself

In empire building

Or sacrifice myself

On the alter of righteousness.

It simply lingers on the edge

Of sleep and thin places

Waiting for me to fall in.




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