The light it speaks

Of spring.

Even before we’ve tinkered with our clocks, the light speaks of spring. Soft and democratic, it offers its glow wherever it falls, instilling a sense of hope.

Is this different from “radical hope” — something I’ve read a lot about since November 2016? Radical hope galvanizes. Forces us to say ‘yes’ to things, because saying ‘no’ is not enough (Naomi Klein).

Radical hope is an act of courage (Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark). Not for the faint of heart. Solnit writes, “Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists.”

Terry Patten writes in A New Republic of the Heart that “a radical robust hope lies on the other side of despair. It can energize and sustain us, inspire our highest capacities, make us a powerful positive force … and help us address our inconceivably vast challenges.”

Cynicism is easy. Hope takes work, builds community, etc. These are necessary reminders. Medicinal, even.

But yesterday offered a less dynamic sense of hope. Nothing catapulting or conspiring. Soft and inviting, it offered a whisper of spring.

Even when a slow-poke cocker spaniel (on a retractable leash no less), forced Finn and me to walk a stretch of Route 9 at rush hour, I was not diminished.

We negotiated past old and crusty piles of snow. Avoided the paper refuse that might house irresistible tidbits. The roar coming at us. Two tons of steel intent on getting to work. Car after car with their threads of exhaust. I remained open. Open to the assaulting noise. Open to vulnerability — aware of the risk — a slip here riskier than elsewhere.

Maybe because it was warmer yesterday, maybe because February really is the month when the turning of season makes itself felt, but in that motion and noise and ever present possibility of calamity, there was hope.

It came unbidden. Full of promise. Announcing itself with a flutter. Quietly.

Where does hope reside for you these days? Is it something you have to work at? If so, how do you do that?

22 thoughts on “The light it speaks

    1. deemallon Post author

      We dwell in opposite seasons but not opposite hearts. I always love to be reminded of how the air feels in Australia!

      Reply
  1. Diane Hartmus

    Beautiful Dee. Thank you. Just what I needed on a dreary morning here in Michigan, when there is another winter weather advisory for freezing rain tonight. Just what I needed on so many fronts.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Gearing up for the state of the union, are we? Even refusing to watch doesn’t keep him at bay. His toxic views. All the commentary thereafter. Weather sounds awful there. We’ve had record breaking number of days without snow. It’s supposed to be 60 today. Freezing rain tomorrow. Stay safe on those slick roads! And take heart.

      Reply
  2. marmeladegypsy

    Maryanne from SC sent me over here and I’m glad she did. Your words resonate deeply here in Michigan where like you, we’ve been in the vortex and now there’s a big melt. One day after another! I loved your words and beautiful photos as well. ~ jeanie from Marmelade Gypsy

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Welcome, Jeanie! I hope you come back and I’ll be taking a peak at your blog. What a great name: Marmalade Gypsy.

      Reply
  3. Liz A

    Love the description of you and Finn braving the roadway … writerly in the best sense of the word.

    And hope? I find it everywhere recently … in the land, in warm breezes, in children, and in the fierce women who are taking the Congress by storm.

    So I will watch a bit tonight … to see the new faces. But once he starts talking, I’ll be gone …

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Thanks for your feedback in the writing, Liz. I might watch it on mute just so I can watch Pelosi’s face.

      Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Well. I can tell you that your blog gives me hope. The celebration of the natural world. Tales of family, up close. Animal companions. Life of soil and sky. It all comes alive when you write.

      Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Hi Laurie. I have a tab open to your blog. Hope to get back there today. There’s always so much going on over there!

      Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      And then there’s Pema Chodron’s idea of being where you are. And if that’s harried, worried, and overwhelmed — well that’s harried, worried, and overwhelmed.

      Reply
  4. Hazel

    This post shines… love your cloth glowing in the window & the pink cloth closeup. These days it’s in cloth & possibilities, and peaceful mornings when there is no one home & no where to be. (ps. I’ve sent you an email with love & thanks, hoping it makes it to you, ox)

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Got your email! When kids were running in and out, I remember how precious quiet time was. Now I have a lot of it. The gate keeping around news is the thing now.

      Reply
  5. Michelle Skater

    That Spring thaw put a real spring in you post. All reminders helpful and true. I’m struggling, so it was particularly good for me to read. Photos are lovely too. Grace did post lots of clips too.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      I’ve been following your struggles. My sister, though she is not yet 65, has made me sensitive to the terrible difficulty of aging and illness when alone. One of the most stalwart aspects of her support for the last many years has come though elder agencies in her town. She’s received: help sorting through and organizing her bills, help with housekeeping and shopping, help with personal care. We eventually got her meds coming from stop and shop because they deliver. She uses a grocery delivery service (which family pays for) and now also meals on wheels. For at least a year, she’s had a phlebotomist come to her apt for critical bloodwork and has had frequent home visits from both a doctor and a nurse through the VNA. Quite simply life saving services. I know that you have a vibrant circle of friends and are much more inclined to self-care, but I wonder if you wouldn’t benefit from some medical check ins. Someone who has your on their radar.

      Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Yes. That’s a good way to think about it. Hope as a river one can always step into. Or walk away from.

      Reply

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