Time for hope is necessary, particularly if your life situation feels dark. Even a glimmer of soft light can keep vigil with you. Shepherd you through a phase of despair.
Whenever I need a spark of hope, I use this tool. First, I find a token, a photograph, or a reminder of a moment that mattered in my life. Then, I take it with me as I locate a peaceful spot to rest my soul.
Once situated, I revisit a place of presence, even as it carries me into the past.
In time, hope greets me there.
Today, I found a seventeen-year-old letter from a former kindergarten student, La Ron. I sat beneath my favorite oak, and placed his words against my heartbeat. Then, I closed my eyes.
First, darkness shrouded me, as it surely did La Ron. You see, I learned he had been shot in recent years not once; but twice. And that news shattered me as if I took the bullets myself. His pain and my powerlessness bled into my soul.
Then, I slipped further into the past. I remembered nicknaming former students my bluebirds, as they offered me so much hope. But the memory that arrived next hurt my heart as well.
Still, I allowed it space to breathe, trusting the process. I stayed with it.
Seventeen years ago, La Ron and I were seated alone at a picnic table on the school’s playground. His eyes scanned the sunlit horizon.
All at once, he lowered his head and shoulders. His shine slouched with him.
“I hate this place,” he said.
“This place” did not simply encompass the school or the high-risk area in which he lived. No. It felt even weightier. This place seemed to mean life.
Again, I stayed with the memory. And I offered his six-year-old thoughts and feelings due reverence.
But then, hope took over, as I knew it would. Slowly, my imagination lifted his words as a gray cloud above me. I tapped it. Broke apart the letters until they fell as dust to the ground.
And this is what took its place.
A gentle knock from long ago. School was over for the day and I was packing up to leave.
I opened my classroom door to find La Ron holding something behind his back. Sunlight streamed his rosy cheeks as he smiled.
“I forgot to give you this,” he said.
I took his pure offering and gazed at it. Hope sailed as artistry through his paper in the form of vivid hearts, and blue clouds, and flowers so true. His tender words uplifted all the more. I hugged him with gratitude and in that embrace felt his strong life force and deep soul.
Beneath my favorite oak, I relived every creative magical detail of that moment. And as I did so, my vibration flew upward a notch. All I could do was smile.
Hope would have it no other way.
Because the truth is La Ron did survive. And now his beauty is mirrored in the two-year-old soul of his daughter. Also, his artistry lives on through his music.
I know all of this since recently we reconnected after many years. In doing so, he expressed to me our shared moments mattered. They traveled through time, through memory, through even hate.
No matter that they dwell in our past, these moments beam with presence.
Suddenly, beneath that tree, I am reminded of something else. Words of my own from seventeen years ago.
Bluebird, keep your spirit during the cold and hopeless night. Feel my gentle breeze as I guide you to the light.
La Ron, forever will I love this “place” we share.
Our time for hope.
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I wrote this post to this peaceful soundtrack. Play and reread to enter this writer’s hopeful world.
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