Sparkles of Joy

Just as the tears I finally shed this morning over the Newtown, CT tragedy provided a cleansing and refreshing of my spirit, yesterday began a series of sparkles of joy (as I called them in a text to my sister) that  began to clear the fog that had been surrounding me this almost-winter.  Here's the list:
  • P4A - The Project for Awesome.  I've shared my love for John Green and Hank Green and all things vlogbrothers before.  He'd been blathering on about p4a on twitter, but I didn't check it out until yesterday morning.  I am so glad I did.  Project for Awesome is a fundraising effort organized by the vlogbrothers and some other awesome internet content creators, and it is ending in the next hour.  Over the last 48 hours, they've raised  almost $440,000 which will be given to the top charities as voted on by all the participants.  Through their indiegogo site, I got unpublished John Green stories and an awesome gift for some of my oldest and most awesome friends.  I also voted for this charity and walked away feeling quite sparkly and full of joy:

  • On my way to lunch with my husband (sparkle), I sang a little with the guy on the street playing the guitar and singing carols (sparkle).  On my way back, I gave him 6 gold dollar coins a student randomly gave me to pay for a book.  Major sparkle, and I ain't talking about the coins.
  • Last night, we took the kids to Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights (super sparkly and super strange), had coffee and cocoa on the way back, watched The Two Towers (we're running a LotR marathon prior to seeing The Hobbit tomorrow) and snuggled with the cat by the Christmas tree.  Joy.
  • This morning, I sat with my coffee and finished the book I started after realizing that my set of The Dark is Rising  is missing The Dark is Rising, which is what I wanted to read.  Instead, I read John Baxter's Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas.  It was meh, but the sitting and drinking and reading most of a book was just perfect and brought me a different kind of quiet.  It also mentioned Christmas in The Wind in the Willows, which led me to my beautiful copy of this book, which I read to the girl when she was but an infant.
  • And then, this. THIS! This carol, sung by the field mice in The Wind in the Willows:
Villagers all, this frosty tide,
Let your doors swing open wide,
Though wind may follow, and snow beside,
Yet draw us in by your fire to bide;
      Joy shall be yours in the morning!

Here we stand in the cold and the sleet,
Blowing fingers and stamping feet,
Come from far away you to greet -
You by the fire and we in the street -
      Bidding you joy in the morning.

For ere one half of the night was gone,
Sudden a star has led us on,
Raining bliss and benison -
Bliss tomorrow and more anon,
     Joy for every morning!

Goodman Joseph toiled through the snow-
Saw the star o'er a stable low;
Mary she might not further go-
Welcome thatch, and litter below!
     Joy was hers in the morning!

And then they heard the angels tell
"Who were the first to cry Nowell?
Animals all, as it befell,
In the stable where they did dwell!
     Joy shall be theirs in the morning!"

Sparkles, y'all. So many sparkles.

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