Someone asked me the other day what exactly I mean when I talk about Hope. She asked me "What do you feel when you say that Hope is what matters most in your life? What does Hope mean?" I use the word a lot and I suppose I haven't always realized that Hope means many different things to people. I had a hard time that day describing Hope. Of course I was able to articulate that Hope is the certain knowledge of our eternity with Christ, where everything is beautiful and nothing painful can ever touch us again. But sometimes when you're in a bad way, that description is too far off for impact.
Wiapedia describes it as an increase in energy and vitality.
I go through it every year. The clocks tick at double time for an hour in the middle of March and the combination of that time change along with the seasonal transition to warmer, longer days forces my body clock all out of rhythm. Usually a light and slight sleeper I become infatuated with sleep. It's all I want all the time. For a couple of weeks I dread the alarm and during usual waking hours find myself drawn to my couch and ottoman with unyielding desire. It's somewhat torturous for an active girl like myself who is accustomed to actually enjoying both early morning workouts and a late night movie. Often both in the same day. And it's not just the lack of energy I grieve. There comes with it a certain sadness. A sense of things just being not right somehow. I truly have come to "Beware the Ides of March" and to know that for me that sense of exhaustion and foreboding lasts for a least a few long weeks.
The last couple of days however I've noticed the effect has begun to lessen. I've been able to wake before the buzzing alarm begins it's annoying lament. I find myself opening windows and drinking in the fresh green scent that only spring can usher in. Today the lonely dirt road just past the intersection outside my house beckons and I can hardly wait to lace up my shoes. Spring Fever.
I know things are only going to get better from here. I can feel my energy level rising. The sunlight that floods through my kitchen and living room makes me want to do crazy things like, wash windows and clean cupboards. These things get done in anticipation of long summer days when there will be so many better things to do. Soon fishing with the kids and taking them to the beach will trump any domestic duties on the perfect sunny day. And even the normal, the mundane and everyday, will be accompanied by brighter happier moments. The drive to work becomes something better when the windows get rolled down and the radio turned up. The sometimes chore of making supper brightens when you can do it standing outside in the late day sun over a smoking grill. Evenings are spent in leisure on the deck of a good friend with a cool, frothy drink in hand. (Last year we discovered mojitos...perhaps something new for summer 2010?) I could go on and on.
Late last night I sat in a pool of bright moonlight in my favorite chair and reflected on the last few days. I thanked God for reminding me that my energy level will fully return and for how much I have to look forward to with this change of seasons. And suddenly I realized... this is Hope! Hope is this sense that even though right now I'm just so tired and I'm still trying to come out of that December snow there is something so bright just around the corner. In the midst of March I usually forget that it's there. I can actually convince myself that spring won't be coming this year. But then a stray breeze wanders across my face or a patch of early morning sunlight on my pillow changes everything and even if I can't feel it yet, I know what comes next. And that moment right there... that's what Hope feels like for me.
Hope looks different for different people though. And I know for many of you it isn't as sunny as all this. But you still know Hope. I'm interested to know.. how do you describe Hope?