It hides from us in corners of our past, peeking out, then retreating for cover.
It bares itself openly in unexpected moments, overwhelming all of our senses and leaving us breathless.
It whispers to us in dim light and quiet moments when everything seems lost.
It endures the struggle of our battle against it, stronger than we could have imagined, defeating our resistance and somehow empowering us after the fight.
It is a mystery, a longing, a prayer with held breath, a distant glimmer of a light that looks something like peace.
It takes audacity to willingly seek it, even when it seems a given that it is there.
It takes a realm of courage unfamiliar to almost everyone to truly fall and know you will be caught by its net.
It is blindingly beautiful in the midst of chaos and debris.
It is today…shocking…because it resides in my heart.
It may at times seem weak to hope. Watching someone stand in the middle of a figurative or literal wasteland and profess hope for the gift of the next day can seem powerful, or a little delusional. And while most of the time I feel the former, when I heard the word audacity tied to the feeling of hope, it hit me how deep the level of courage that is necessary to accept and see some sort of possibility—to simply anticipate that things will get better.
I was not watching in 2004 when President Obama delivered his speech -The Audacity of Hope. I can’t say I have ever seen it, and have not had a chance to read his book with the same title. But I loved those words—and without anything to do with politics. Those words –the audacity to hope—spoke to me.
The thoughts I write tonight come to me as I stand on the edge of uncertain territory. I can say that over the last few years, I have watched my ability to hope falter in what I was sure was a map for my future. But there is a strange mix of fear and courage that brings me to this place—willing to take a step, a leap into an experience unknown to me until now.
And I feel those words that touched me so when I heard them. The audacity to believe permanent scars fade and heal, trust can return to my vocabulary, and a flicker of something I knew only before countless hard lessons, and too many mistakes…the belief that it will all be alright.
And as I type these last words tonight, there is an audacity in that, too. Putting these words out there, giving them life beyond the silent safety of just lingering in my mind.
It makes this real, it makes hope come alive—living and breathing in my mind, my heart…
in my life.