By Rebecca Compton
This morning, inspiration arrived as I was driving out to the beach. The view through my windshield showed a dark, rain-heavy sky. An opening in the clouds, appeared, blue sky beyond, the rim of the clouds gilded with sunlight. Ah, I thought: hope.
In my way of thinking, hope is the most wonderfully nebulous of abstractions, and that very indefinable nature of hope is why I cherish it so much. Hope is the big concept behind my “glass is half full” way of living. Hope has no attachment to a specific outcome; it is simply a way of living with the belief, faith, assurance and, yes, security, of knowing that all will be well. I hope for something positive, beautiful, or healing. I hope for world peace, knowing I can only do my small part in the process. World peace will come – or it won’t. I hope for rain for my garden. Rain will come – or it won’t.
This is not to say I don’t set intentions. I am, fiercely and with every fiber of my being, setting the intention that a loved one’s battle with cancer will result in total healing and the full remission/cessation of cancer. And, I hope for ease and grace during the process. Can you sense the difference?
I also know that hope, because of its very ephemeral nature, comes and goes, waxes and wanes. For me, hope has no specifically identifiable “something” at the end. Indeed, hope has no end. My hopes may not materialize in concrete ways “right now”, and I know that hope will return; it’s a lovely wave I can ride. And, when I am most present, the Universe rewards and encourages my hopefulness: a beautiful ray of sunshine piercing a storm cloud; an unexpected smile from a stranger; a loving hug, for no particular reason. Hope is rewarded in small, immediate, meaningful ways. These fleeting, yet transcendent, moments are the constant rewards for living a
hopeful life. We can hope for things over which we have no control (rain, world peace, freedom from cancer). And because we have no power over these things, we are free to relax into hope. All that is required is to “be” hopeful; one doesn’t need to “do” anything. To be hopeful requires no extra energy or effort, no preparation, no work. I’m not even sure it requires “presence.”
Hope is a possibility, not a promise.
I encourage you to relax into hope. Why not try it? There is everything (and no thing) to be gained.
Rebecca Compton recently retired from a much loved career as a school librarian. She now enjoys abundant time to think, create, relax, drink coffee, and enjoy sunrises. She is entranced by the unfolding of this next phase of her life.