Hope wanted to be born. She wasn’t sure yet if she was a thing or a being, and in the state she was in—not yet manifest as she was—well it didn’t really matter. All she knew was that she was needed urgently on earth. Very urgently. Strange things had been happening. Peculiar people had been chosen to be leaders. Fear was stalking the land, sending out messages in 140 characters until its mistruths took root in people’s hearts.
Fear makes people do strange and terrible things, odd things that they aren’t aware are terrible because they don’t recognise that fear is in their hearts.
Hope looked around and saw that she needed to be born, not as a child, but as an inspiration. She looked for places where she could be born; safe places and spaces where she could give hope, and she waited, far above in the heavens, until she spied a group of writers in a tiny cottage and she gave them words.
She noticed a shy musician longing to find the perfect notes to express music which told of fear and terror, but hope and courage too. She gave him clashing chords and lyrical runs of notes and she watched as he played his guitar in small bars in Hamburg, where people sat breathless, waiting for his notes.
She saw too a gardener who was creating a garden, a huge garden with a whole group of others and she helped that gardener see what needed to be planted. She watched as the garden welcomed bees and created feasts of food.
There was also one young man who had lost all hope. He felt in his heart despair—a brute feeling which filled him with loathing, mostly of himself but also of the world. He longed to ease the pain of his existence with a needle and did so often until his mind blurred and his soul went soft and his spirit weakened.
But one night as he was sitting on the back step of his dingy flat, he saw hope and she looked a bit like a star, but mostly like a mother, the kind of parent he wished he had been or could one day become. And he could see that she was sending something in that starlight that he could let in too. And he hadn’t tasted what she offered for so long, he cried. He sat on his back steps and wept.
And later, when he heard the local gang members coming up the lane to taunt him and shame him and abuse him, he got up and found his way to a patch of starlight.
That’s what the birth of hope could do, open small spaces in hearts around the world. Small spaces that could close again, but could also stay open.
I created this fable as part of a writing for wellbeing session on the theme of ‘birth’ on 22 December 2016
I look forward to lighting our Christmas candle later today, and send you blessings of hope, courage and trust at Christmas and into 2017…