100 Days of Hope | Week 5

100 Days of Hope | Week 5

When I’m at work I sing. It gives me strength during difficult times, and I believe it helps heal. — Lori Marie Key

I don’t know if you all watched the very moving and long overdue Memorial for the more than 400,000 American’s who have died. I did and it seems that this service broke the dam. I cried and once I started, I just could not stop. It felt like all the months of living on the edge of “what next” created a torrent of tears. But there was hope in those tears! It felt like a huge weight had been lifted. Thank you, Lori Marie Key, for giving me hope (and releasing the floodgates!)

But the tears did not stop on Tuesday night… they continued on into Wednesday. I have watched a few inaugurations, but Wednesday was more emotional and I cried lots. I wept with joy and sadness when Kamala was sworn in. Joy because YES, a WOMAN! But I also thought about how it must have felt for Hillary… bittersweet. And President Biden’s speech will absolutely go down in the history books as one of the greatest Inaugural Addresses ever.

But let’s talk for a minute about the hope that Amanda Gorman filled me with…a shining beacon of hope! Her entire poem was moving, but the ending was a clarion call for me. (you can read The Hill We Climb here)

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left, with every breath from my bronze, pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one, we will rise from the golden hills of the West, we will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution, we will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states, we will rise from the sunbaked South, we will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful, when the day comes we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid, the new dawn blooms as we free it, for there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.

I have not be able to get enough of Amanda since Wednesday and I stumbled across these video’s – a treasure trove of brilliance! This poem really stood out to me… especially since 1/6.

And finally, Bernie. Who knew that he and his mittens would bring such laughter (and inside that laughter…hope!)

There have been *hundreds* of memes but my favorites are in this Twitter thread from local photographer Dave DiCello:

That is all I have for this week! Have a great weekend and I will see you all back here next week!

 

100 Days of Hope | Week 5

100 Days of Hope | Week 4

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
― John Bunyan

This week, hope seemed to be jumping up all around me shouting… Over here! and Look at me! Yes, hope was overflowing and it filled me! Lots of people doing things that can never be repaid.

My community has a place where those with an abundance can give to those in need. I am always amazed at the generosity of this community, but this week one incredible woman… oh my lands…knit and donated 7 pairs of hand knit socks! This extraordinary act might have brought tears to my eyes! I mean… what a wonder!

 

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Last week there were so many people who “did something” that can never be repaid. Eugene Goodman is one of those people. I have had Officer Goodman on my mind all week and it made me happy to read that he is being considered for the Congressional Gold Medal. This nation owes him a debt of gratitude and he gives me so much hope!

I follow a plethora of people on Twitter, but one person I follow never ceases to inspire me, to make me think, to make me stop and consider. They did that this week in a big way with this letter that felt like it was written to me. In the letter, Pastor Emily frankly discussed the anger they felt… anger that I too was feeling… then they opened the window to let hope in:

“Perhaps I am writing this letter more to myself than anyone else, but I sense that there are others who might feel the same as I do tonight. To us I say this: there is hope. There is hope, because there is the knowledge that this is not the way things should be. There is hope because we care enough to not look away.”

I would like to thank Pastor Emily for allowing me to share their words here.

Andy Slavitt has been posting “nightly COVID updates” for months, and last night’s update was so full of hope! It’s a long thread but worth the read! And it appears that Andy will be joining President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 Team!

Finally, a commenter last week shared a brilliant bit of hope! Jane’s words really lifted me:

“I have to say I hit a wall on Friday afternoon. Then I read about Nancy Pelosi. At 80 years old, she faced madmen with assault rifles, stayed up until 4:30 a.m. to make sure the House certified Biden’s election, and then got to work drafting articles of impeachment. What a heroine!!”

A week that just overflowed with hope…(and if you need one tiny bit more…since December 21 the Pittsburgh daylight has increased by 19 minutes and 23 seconds – Yahoo!)

Have a great weekend and I will see you all back here next week!

100 Days of Hope | Week 5

100 Days of Hope | Week 3

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. — Anne Lamott

I think we all need a bit of stubborn hope today, even though it feels like all hope has vanished.

I expected *something* to happening on Wednesday…what I did not imagine was that a mob of white supremacist insurgents would actually gain access to the People’s House. Nor could I imagine they would gleefully post their criminal behavior all over social media and then just waltz out looking like their team just won the Super Bowl….while the Capital Police held the doors for them! Yesterday, as more news unfolded surrounding the horrors of Wednesday, my mood got progressively darker.

But despite the trauma to our great nation there were some things this week that gave me some hope to hold! Things like Reverend Doctor Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff… Stacey Abrams and Nsé Ufot… and the Atlanta Dream who did some research, liked what they heard, and lifted Rev Warnock up… by wearing his name on their shirts!

It still feels so dark to me today, but I am stubbornly holding onto hope.

Have a good weekend everyone, see you all back here next week!

100 Days of Hope | Week 5

100 Days of Hope | Week 2

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!

100 Days of Hope | Week 5

100 Days of Hope | Week One

When I got the first email about the Winter Solstice Project I thought that I did not need one more thing. But then the second email came, and I began to think more about the idea of a weekly project. The idea grew and felt like this is something I need to do in my week. So once a week – until March 20th – I am going to share some thoughts on hope.

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. — Samuel Smiles

This week the journey toward the sun began again, each day bring a tiny bit more light. For me this year, has felt like that… each day a bit darker than the day before and I have forgotten what hope looks like. I have forgotten that if I look carefully, there are tiny bits of hope every day… bits I miss because I am focused on the darkness. So Monday I started paying attention and here are some things that gave me hope this week:

A Mourning Dove who reminds me that hope can be a thing with feathers.
A 50 degree day in December.
A rosy sunrise after a long week of grey days.
The notification that a long waited for book is ready for pick up!
The promise of snow on Christmas.
Discovering On Being’s Experience Poetry 
Dr. Fauci
and this wisdom…it really struck a chord with me.

I wish you all a Blessed Christmas. See you back here next week!

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