Remembering to honor hope
With less than a month before Litha, I have been collaborating with a lovely coven mate on a spell that will honor hope. For a while and probably very much like many of us, I let hope slip away. The world was enduring so much that to see it all was painful beyond words. To see how cavalier cynicism had become an acceptable answer to human suffering, how entitlement and privilege blinded people even to their own self-interest—is it any wonder that so many of our hearts became hardened? The breaking point for me came last year when I lost a dear friend to Covid19. The reality of her suffering, her family's loss of her, and the giant hole that her passing created just left me broken. All I could think of every day after her death was how many hundreds of thousands of others had felt the same profound losses. The impact of so much grief muted almost everything else in me for a while. I cried rivers, I mourned her and everyone like her. I tried my best to spring back and move on, but I couldn't. The numbness of the last year or so had carved out whatever it was that had usually gotten me through. It took me several more months before I finally put a name to what I was missing: hope. I realized I'd coped with grief and loss by expecting each day to offer me nothing. At the end of each day I would console myself with the fact that nothing catastrophic had taken everything I loved away from me. It wasn't relief so much as exhaustion, the feeling that we all somehow made it through one more day. I lived preparing myself for when everything would be take away from me. Little by little, through so many small kindnesses from both expected and unexpected corners of my world, I made my way back. The smallest tendril of hope began to take shape in me again. It grew through the spring with the wildflowers and has once again become that which sustains me. This is why I was so happy to have a collaborator on a spell that would set our griefs in order and honor hope. As Litha approaches, I look forward to acknowledging that we can lay our burdens down each night and rise again with each dawn. Every day is new. This does not mean it is disconnected from all the others that came before it. It is precisely that history which makes each new day one where I am fully present and mindful. I can't think of a better reminder than the coming solstice to honor hope again and to let it finally coexist with our grief. My sunsets come with sunrises. This is what I had forgotten for a while and what I plan to celebrate this Litha.