‘Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.’
I have chosen this word as my blog today because I have been inspired by many things to write about hope.
Not least of my inspirations is the time of year. I know that a lot of people feel down during the months of January and February. The land seems bleak, every day is grey (although I have to say that is one of my favourite colours so there is a positive there for me.) the winter has been going on for some time, Christmas is over, often people have spent too much and everyone just tends to feel flat. So hence this post – a post to raise spirits.
I have written in the past about this time of year, how we all seem to hibernate and shy away from going outside and looking at some of the beauty that surrounds us. Even poets who have written about winter seem to highlight the doom and gloom as Thomas Hardy said ….
‘I leant upon a coppice gate,
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires…..’
This excerpt is from his poem ‘The Darkling Thrush’ and although notorious for being a bit of a miserable bugger even he had to acknowledge the thrush when it started to sing and admit
‘That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew,
And I was unaware…..’
The Thrush sung of hope, because he knew that Spring would come, that life should be embraced whatever the weather.
We should go out and look at the things around us, the trees that are just waiting for Spring, with their buds at the ready, like my willow tree that I have included in one of the collage of photos at the beginning of this post. They have hope.
And not least the Tao asks you to look at the trees as ‘They stand, and they wait, the power of their growth apparently dormant. But inside, a burgeoning is building imperceptibly …. neither bad fortune nor good fortune will alter what they are. We should be the same way.’ (Deng Ming-Dao from 365 Tao: Daily Meditiations.)
And finally the wonderful Philip Larkin who wrote the following poem called ‘First Sight’
Lambs that learn to walk in snow
When their bleating clouds the air
Meet a vast unwelcome, know
Nothing but a sunless glare.
Newly stumbling to and fro
All they find, outside the fold,
Is a wretched width of cold.
As they wait beside the ewe,
Her fleeces wetly caked, there lies
Hidden round them, waiting too,
Earth’s immeasureable surprise.
They could not grasp it if they knew,
What so soon will wake and grow
Utterly unlike the snow.’
Another inspiration is Harley, my beautiful Welshie. When we were faced with the possibility of losing him in November, faced with that terrible decision to leave him in the hands of the wonderful vet who saved his life we had to have hope. We had to never give up; and here he is with us today, running like the wind again in the garden his ears behind him and his legs stretched out in full pelt. He makes me smile every time I see him I just stop and watch.
Times are hard on this adventure in the winter (not for some I know but for most) the other day Rich and I were talking in the barn and I told him not to worry about things because you can only deal with what you have today, what is the point of worrying about tomorrow when you don’t actually know what it holds? As if to affirm to me that I was right as I walked away and into our garden a robin redbreast landed on my hydrangea right outside the front door; and it turned and looked at me. I just smiled and said ‘I know, I am right, it will all be okay if we only deal with the here and now and not the future,’ I knew it was someone who loved me coming to give me support … and hope.
I have since made three sales on Etsy!
Another inspiration is one of my dear friends, who is going through what will be one of the most difficult times of his life; as he works his way through the illness and inevitable goodbye that he will have to make to someone he loves so much. But despite all the difficulties he messaged the mad little group that we have on Messenger to say how he treasures our madness and silly antics at this time, because it gives him strength to carry on. Some would say how can there be hope in this situation but there is. We hope that he stays strong and his family stay strong, and I have no doubt that they all hope that when the time comes the person who leaves will go to a better place, with no pain, young again, in their prime; and that they hope that, sometimes, a robin redbreast will pay them a visit just to let them know that they are still there with them – always.
I have been inspired over the past few weeks by blogs I have been reading as part of the research for my book before I do it’s edit and send it off. My book is a book of heartbreak and hope; and the hope that shines out of some of these blogs is immense. The people (yes all of them) are going through so much pain, but they would not be carrying on if they did not have hope. Just as Rich and I did. I have messaged some and commented on their blogs and they have all responded to say that ‘we’ give them hope that they will get through it.
So on to what hope has to do with my adventure:
When we moved here our son was very unhappy, I understand he was afraid that we were not going to be there for him anymore. It was, after all, a big life changing event for him, even though he did not live with us. But in the collage of pictures is one of us in our kitchen from this Christmas after he visited for the first time, there we all are with our mould (it has become part of the family now!) and he is happy now that we live here; he has made his way in the world and come so far on his own over the past few years – and this is exactly what I hoped for. I also hoped that he would see our house as home and the best gift at Christmas was when he said “It is good to be home.”
I never gave up hope for that!
And finally a big shout out to all of the other brave people (or lunatics however you look at it) that are renovating old drafty houses over here and in other places in the world. Who are not rich, who have to be innovative in what they do, and who have to change the way they live because of their finances. None of you ever give up hope, and I respect you for that.
So over to you all, at this time of year are you going to be miserable and wait for spring? (Just a little reminder that you don’t actually know if you will be here then! But I hope you will!) Or are you going to go outside and look at the beauty of the world around you? See the hope on every corner, in everything you do?
I found this wonderful poem about hope by an unknown poet – this is an edited version but it can be found at http://www.wow4u.com/poemofhope/ where there are many others to inspire.
….’There might be adventures you never imagined
just waiting around the next bend
and wishes and dreams about to come true
in ways you yet can’t comprehend…..
So keep putting one foot in front of the other,
And taking your life day by day…
There’s a brighter tomorrow that’s just down the road –
Don’t look back! You’re not going that way!’
As always folks please share, and please comment I love to hear what you think – I really hope you will. Here is to a hopeful 2018
Oh and why the picture of the Welshie puppy Dylan dylly dyl dyls? Puppies are always full of hope and wonder; and she has filled my friends life with joy and hope!
Visit my Etsy shop petitefrenchfancies for more inspiration.