I’ve been keeping a close eye on hope.
You remember we found hope two weeks ago? Our Fairy Message Mother left her for us where hope is usually found — on the paths where we meander, consumed by angst and despair, a quiet reminder sits by the wayside, waiting for us to notice.
It was there on a painted sand dollar in white scripty font.
And I don’t know who our Fairy Message Mother is — although I suspect we have more than one — but I envision her, sitting at home in quarantine at her table with paints and brushes and canvases made of bits of the earth and the sea, the messes of everyday life around her, the squawks and squabbles of her children or the squawks and squabbles of her own thoughts to keep her company, crafting pieces of joy to share with strangers.
She paints rocks. She puts messages in itty bitty fairy bottles. And she gently prods us to remember to be gentle with ourselves, that we are loved, that we’ve got this.
I smile when I see them.
For just a few seconds, I stop spinning on maudlin thoughts.
I take pictures because I know for sure and certain our Fairy Message Mother’s missives are for all of us.
But I don’t take any home with me.
They’re not “mine,” you know? They’re doing Bigger Work than riding home in my pocket. They’re Bringing Joy to many. They head home, I’m convinced, with the folks who need to have them, to touch them, to remember they’re not alone. And I decided I’d take one when I knew beyond a doubt it was meant to live with me.
I walk the same trail every day. Although I usually resist taking the same route — literally and figuratively — the path is becoming my contemplative labyrinth. I’m learning the steps. I know where the grass grows in the cracks of the asphalt. I know where to pick lemon balm to crush between my fingers and release its sharp, bright scent into the air. I know where the moss covered oak creates the arch that leads to the creek that burbles across the rocks right before the house where the people smoke pot in the rocking chairs on their porch.
And I know where hope is — around exactly which bend — because I check every day.
While every other message has gone home, hope remains.
At the base of the same pole sits the little sand dollar with her simple message.
And it makes me happy.
Every time I pass it I think, “ALL IS NOT LOST. HOPE IS STILL THERE.”
I walked by it again today, except today it was obscured.
By a literal bag of shit.
OMG and LOL and FFS. OF COURSE HOPE IS COVERED IN SHIT RIGHT NOW.
Of course it is.
Bless our sweet human hearts and the bags of poo we’re leaving just everywhere. Emotionally. Mentally. Spiritually. Physically. This is CrapFest 2020.
But listen. HOPE IS STILL THERE, Diary.
YES, we have to look for it.
And YES, we have to move the poo aside to see it.
But EVEN THEN, hope is constant.
Hope is unwavering.
And I finally figured out that hope is for me. I can keep it. Today, I realized I can take it home, and this way we’ll know for sure where to find it.
I picked it up. I popped it in my pocket. And I brought it here to live with me.
P.S. So if anyone’s looking for hope, LMK, friends. I brought it home to share.