‘Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully each moment, and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.’ I’ve recently found myself waking up with this Gatha by Thich Nhat Hanh. As I start the day it reminds me that each hour is full of possibility, opportunity and hope.
Spring is surely the most hopeful time of year. Green buds are appearing, almost before my eyes. Birds are chirruping with a confidence in what is to come. The sun is starting to warm my skin, reminding me summer is on the way. Then there are all the spring flowers, such hopeful little things; they seem to know we need a smile and some warmth after the winter. Yes, spring is most certainly one of my biggest reminders to be hopeful. But what does it mean to hope?
For me, to hope is to remember there is constant growth, change and renewal. Nothing stays the same, which gives endless possibilities for the future. As I contemplate hope, spring reminds me to allow things to naturally unfold; to have a sense of purpose, yet also be content with where I am. Then there is the physical feeling of hope, a lightness and warmth ‘perched in the soul.’
By Emily Dickinson –
“Hope” is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without words
And never stops – at all.
And sweetest in the gale is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea
Yet, never, in extremity
It asked a crumb – of me.