Joy is hope realized. It is a bubbling up of the heart’s gratitude. It can be explosive in its exuberance, as is the victory dance and song of one who has conquered. After the darkness of the night, it is the dawning of fresh hope with the rising of the sun for, ” Joy comes in the morning.” The Prophet Malachi describes the feeling as a release, an exuberant leaping, like calves released from confinement and let out to pasture. It is the overwhelming emotion when, beyond all hope, good triumphs, as when “the Sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings” ( Malachi 4 v 2 ). When righteousness triumphs even the mountains and hills sing and the trees of the field clap their hands (Isaiah 55 v 12 to 13) It is not surprising then that C S Lewis described joy as “the Language of Heaven,” and, though we hear only faint whisperings within the limitations of this world, when hints of Heaven invade earth there are spontaneous out-breaks of joy.
I painted “Dawning” for all the dreams and hopes that still await their fulfillment. It was an indulgence of hope. It is not meant to be strictly representational though the wild geese hint at the moving of the Holy Spirit and the City on the Hill and the rising sun the dawning of the Kingdom. The girl is no one in particular, just a leaping care-free girl.