St Augustine describes hope as stretching our hearts. This is in the context of stretching our desire to see God.
I like this view and feel it can also be applied to the concept of hope per se as well as hope in God. It is somewhat different from the negative overtones in the Pandora’s box mythology, however it does imply one has to stretch one’s heart and there is a slight overtone of risk in that-what if my heart won’t stretch, how do I do this? What if I can’t find hope. So, I am coming to the conclusion which I had never contemplated before that hope mens taking a risk.
So today I have been thinking about hopefulness. Rather than hope, which can appear quite mellifluous and hard to grasp, hopefulness does seem to be a state of mind, an emotion and a feeling.
I am feeling hopeful because I have settled in my mind the early end to my holiday and also because today I allowed myself some pampering and had a facial. I met two sisters with a family business in Hurstville and coincidentally they were friends with the mother and daughter I met at a hairdressers locally. Incidentally, both of these businesses are Greek. This inspired hopefulness, because having worked with many dysfunctional families in a previous life, I had grown to see dysfunctional families as a normal. Seeing people with established businesses who have worked together for years and clearly love what they do is very uplifting.
My family are also safe because it rained in Bowral yesterday, so I am relieved and grateful. I am also contemplating a different kind of life; where I could possibly live six months in the UK and six months in Australia. I love Australia and I love the UK and I have dual nationality, so I am rolling this over in my mind. Once again this is being hopeful and I feel is an antidote to my early departure.
While in Australia, I have been welcomed by many beautiful furry fiends. I am staggered at how animals communicate. I have walked a guide dog and as a sighted person with poor night vision, I found this made me feel very safe. A Pomeranian next door, named Honey literally keeps escaping and visiting me, barking until she gets my attention. I am besotted by her golden personality.
I am also hopeful because I am going to visit the koala hospital at Port Macquarie. To me these little creatures encapsulate the pain of the fires, in that they can’t even run away. I have seen them bandaged up with patches of burnt fur showing. I want to adopt one. I have over recent days felt emotionally burnt myself, by life, and so I relate to their experience. I have wanted to visit since I heard about the hospital and am really excited.
Celebrities being kind and generous in support of those who have experienced the bush fires, has also really impacted upon me. As have the truck angels, the lorry drivers who have driven hay to stricken communities. Worldwide kindness towards other humans inspires hope that in the world in which we live, kindness and generosity still exist.
So today’s recipe for hope is to combine hope and hopefulness with self-care and kindness to oneself. A further ingredient is the kindness of others, reaching out to a horrific situation.
Keep hope alive X