On No More Hope

Nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything.

Madeleine L’Engle

On evenings when the sky is clear, I look up at the stars and find my favorite constellations. Orion, the Hunter, the Big and Little Dipper, and Cassiopeia, the somewhat crooked “W,” the queen that was punished for all eternity for her vanity and boastfulness of her beauty. Sometimes I sit and think about how these stars, that I see with my eyes, are remnants of light that have travelled many, many years to the earth. And I wonder, are all that I see still there? Or are these stars gone, dead, and the nighttime sky just a photograph of things that do not exist anymore? What is real and what is only an illusion? And does it even matter? What would be different in my existence if I knew the answer?

I once told an old friend that besides love, I think the most important thing in the universe is hope. There is no guarantee, except death, an end to this earthly existence. Why struggle each day, to breathe, when we are surely all dying slowly, to experience this life, which seems futile as we trudge along the path to our seemingly final abyss? But, I think, there is hope. That we get that job, that our family member beats that disease, that we win the lotto, that we get the girl. To me, hope is a powerful motivator, even when we face the largest challenge and our greatest fears, and tips the scale of our actions. To keep us determined to go on, when the going gets tough, the way is tortuous, and the night darker than any we have encountered. When we cannot quite clearly see our way, like a shining light we hope, and we persevere on. Hope, large and small, that people, places, things, events will be the way we envision them, that we will receive what we most desire on our journey. Hope that while we do exist, we fulfill our dreams, and obtain for a fleeting moment that which our hearts and our souls need to be complete. For why else are we journeying?

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