I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with Hope for quite sometime now. A few years ago, I participated in an art journal challenge, where each day you drew a provided prompt. That particular day, the prompt suggested I draw how I was feeling. At the time, I was struggling with a lot of sadness, loneliness and defeat, yet the drawing I produced was a girl with wings and arms outstretched for flight. I realized then that the darkness I was feeling was separate from me. Deep inside I was an optimist, aware that at any moment, things could get better. At every crossroad there are two options – believe you are lost and the worst will happen, or believe that one of those roads leads to freedom. That hope, even as a tiny flicker that I wanted to extinguish, kept me from much worse possibilities. I cried once to someone talking me off a metaphorical ledge,
“I can’t do it! I can’t stop hoping!” and he laughed kindly and assured me it was a good thing, and although I didn’t agree, ultimately Hope saved me.
That is what ‘Heaven on Earth’ is about – Hope.
Not just for myself, but in the sweetness of humankind and the beauty of nature. We are surrounded by mental illness, depression, custody battles, death, war, blackness, every single day, but we haven’t forgotten how to love, how to laugh, how to be kind. We can still admire sunsets and feel therapy in the woods.
Despite it all, there is a piece of God in earth, and it is us.
Some angels don’t need wings for us to see their goodness.
They make us laugh in spite of our determination to bask in failure.
They show us friendship is about mutual weirdness and having one another’s backs.
They keep the sidewalks meticulously cleaned and always pay friendly compliments.
They face the world with resolve and clarity even when it betrays their trust.
They sing, they share, they smile and encourage you, and sooth your aching emptiness.
They listen to you, and are amazed when you are rejected and teach you how to love through their children to take risks and explore everything.
You are one if you want to be – standing in the midst of the painting that is earth.
You can encourage and give hope and stand strong and love and show others that kindness matters and forgiveness will change the world.
Hope little angel, fly little bird, love madly little human