Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Life Lesson #7: Hope

“Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” - George Iles

IMAG2448-1-1When thunderstorms were blowing and the slow grumbling of thunder was building outside the backdoor the other morning, I went room to room closing the open windows.  I could hear the rain begin whipping against the windows that had just been standing open.  In the family room I found my Cate crouched down low in front of a set of windows peering outside intently.  She seemed curiously fixated on something in the distance.  “What are you doing, Cate?” I asked her, wondering if the storm was frightening her.

“I’m watching the wind.” she said simply.

Glancing up with curiosity I asked, “And what is the wind doing?”

Without turning around, she placed her hand on the glass, squinted her eyes and leaned farther forward as though she wanted to be sure of what she saw through the thick raindrops on the glass, “I think it’s dancing with the trees.”  she said softly.  Then, she lifted her small arms up in the air and moved them slowly back and forth like the branches. 

I smiled.  In the storm that was building just inches away from her face all she could see were the trees dancing in the wind.

When I left the traditional corporate world behind over a year ago to start my business and pursue writing full-time, I struck out in a direction that was uncertain and full of doubt, but I chose to see a direction full of promise.  It hasn’t been easy and it hasn’t been without struggle, sacrifice, and loss… but much like the dark night that forfeits it’s claim to the sunrise, it’s been a rebirth and an opportunity to redefine my whole life and the lives of my children.

I’ve made personal sacrifices as the balance of income and expenses has gone up and down.  More down than up if I’m honest, some months not knowing how to make ends meet.  The saying, “It’s darkest before dawn.” is one I’ve become intimately familiar with. 

But in that moment I was reminded of all the reasons why I walked away from the familiar in the first place.  Watching her small frame in the window, arms swaying, I was moved.  Without pause, I crouched down and encircled her narrow shoulders with my arms and squeezed, wanting to protect that hope that she holds in her heart so effortlessly.  She leaned back into me and giggled.  Then, for a few minutes we sat side by side in front of the windows and where a storm had just been raging all we saw was the wind dancing with the trees.