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A Promise of Hope…

by Richard on December 15, 2016

Snow came in, unexpectedly this morning, for about an hour as the temperatures plunged. Weather wise, it’s been a relatively comfortable year for us… but only weather-wise. The infirmities of aging have caught us and brought us forced reflection. We can prioritize easier now than we used to be able to, when the world beckoned and anything seemed possible. Recent events here and abroad have made it clear that possibilities for most humans have shrunk down substantially, and while luck seems to drawn thin at times, it’s still a ready player.

The image is an Ojibway Dreamcatcher hanging in my window while the snow falls outside. It’s a simple web spread over a bent willow twig hoop with some natural decorations added. It reminds me that hope is the most common of human traits. Our species may sometimes follow paths that later prove to be a bad decision; but even once the darkness begins to fall, we hope for a brighter day.

The ancients were observers of Creation and celebrated the cyclic nature of our lives and our home. Each year, as Winter’s grip seems too strong to break, the days begin to lengthen. Sol Invictus was the Roman celebration of the solstice, which occurred some four days later than it does now. All living things in their own ways, celebrate the sun’s victory each year. We humans have created all kinds of different observances and Holidays to ritualize our joy at the coming promise of a new year. Hope.

The tradition of the dreamcatcher evokes an idea of gathering and keeping all our good dreams while letting the bad ones disappear, leaving our lives hopeful. This coming year, I join with most of my human brethren in wishing the best of the coming year to all… even if I still have to pull that coat a little tighter around my old shoulders. Pull your loved family (two legs and four legs) closer to you. Share your love along with your hope. It’s the best gift we can give each other, and one that as long as we use it, it will never fail or wear out.

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