I set my alarm for 8:30 AM. Not sure why — I had nothing to do. It just felt like a good time. Truth be told, I was up at 7:30 AM, but laid in bed until 9:00 AM. My first work call was at 11:45 AM, so I had plenty of spaciousness. I was exhausted even after being in bed for hours: fires all around, more warnings of lightning that could spark new fires, evacuation plans, a call from a friend who tells of friends in the Santa Cruz mountains who’ve lost everything, Republican National Convention creating a false “reality.” Why get out of bed?
As I stumble across the bedroom floor, my seventeen-year-old son comes in. Happy, enthusiastic, full of life, dancing even. He’s been listening to Cardi B.’s new song, WAP (Wet Ass P***y or as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez refers to it, Women Against Patriarchy). He’s shaking his bootie and joyful. I’m dazed. “How can you be so happy?” I ask. “It’s one day closer to the end of Covid!” he yells. That was a paradigm shift for me. Talk about optimism. So, yes, this post is about hope. Hope in the face of everything telling you there’s no good reason to have it.
I have the book The Audacity of Hope on my bookshelf. I haven’t read it yet, but I like knowing it’s there. More than that, I like the title. Audacity, noun, “a willingness to take bold risks,” as the online dictionary tells me. It really does feel bold to have hope right about now.
I think back on other times in history when things felt bleak and there are many, so this period in life is yet another opportunity to fuel ourselves with the only thing we can all muster free of charge, 24/7, day or night: Hope. I’m realizing that it’s the only thing that kept our forebearers moving ahead.
What gives me hope today:
- Seeing the multiracial makeup of the young folks who take to the streets to shout black lives matter and the care they are showing each other by offering medical support, water, and eye rinses to dilute the impact of tear gas.
- The first woman of color nominated as vice president of the United States: Kamala Harris.
- The orchid buds on the two plants in my bathroom that are growing despite the smokey air they breathe.
- The firefighters who tirelessly work to save our lives and our homes.
- In a desperate kind of way, the Lincoln Project.
- My two sons getting up and going to online school, doing homework, even while they say it’s hard and they hate it.
- Seeing a six-week-old baby on zoom and all her family members gathering to greet her into the world, cooing soft words, awe struck by her tiny toes.
What gives you hope? Name it. Write it down. Thank it.
Hope is our lifeline to the future.
Photo by ShonEjai www.pixabay.com