Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’ — Alfred Lord Tennyson

Happy New Year! I have written this quote in my journal to greet me next week, although… doesn’t it feel like today is the start of a new week rather than Friday? Is it just me or are any of you all turned around on what day it is. That upside down factor has been amplified because Steve has been working from home more recently so I don’t have his normal routine to help me with days! But… happier. Doesn’t that sound lovely? It certainly does for me. There were glimmers of hope this week again… seek and ye shall find… yes, indeed!

The birds again were Harbingers of Hope when one morning about 20 robins were flocking in the bushes next to my porch, enjoying a breakfast of the frozen berries that are hanging in bunches all over. I saw some birds standing guard, alert for danger while the others gleefully gobbled up the berries… and then I saw them trade places so the “guard birds” could participate in the feast! If the birds can care for one another, surely that gives us all hope that we can too!

Our Christmas snow melted away this week, but twice I woke to a fresh dusting of snow making everything look so bright and clean… a visible reminder that each day we have a clean slate – a chance to begin again. And that is the best kind of hope of all… that no matter how miserably I failed the day before I have a chance to try again.

Sometimes, hope comes only when you have torn everything away…a 6-minute listen from Clint Smith (and you absolutely should listen). And if you have not read Clint’s Counting Descent… do! It is some of the best poetry I have read all year!

A new year means setting a new reading goal (or at least for me it does, lol) and setting that goal is the epitome of hope! The wishful thinking of how much I might read in a year… it is like that open door, smiling with a promise of happiness. In previous years, I have set a challenging goals, and I knew that in order to achieve the goal I would have to stay focused and work at it. Sometimes I met the goal, other times I did not… so last year I set a what I call a “fake goal” one that was low and I knew I could easily meet it (and I did and then some). But you know what? There was absolutely zero satisfaction in my achievement this year… I cheated myself. Oh, I read and I certainly enjoyed the books I read, but I learned that “faking myself out” has no rewards. So while I am still contemplating my reading goal… it won’t be a cheater goal. I found some interesting books on this list that will help me with the start of the New Year (and they are all about Fresh Starts – and a fresh start is always full of hope!)

And there you have it, the hope I found this week. Welcome 2021, may you be brimming with happiness!

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