Visualizing Hope in the New Year

Dear Reader:

Have you ever thought what “hope” would look like if you could turn it into an image…realistic or symbolic….it doesn’t matter…just the image in your mind.

Eva Cate and I got to the movies early Saturday for the first showing of Mary Poppins Returns at 11:00. The doors were still locked. So we went to the Southern Living shop to browse…where I could comfortably live out my life in all the store’s accessories….so cute, so quaint…so to my liking… except for my pocket book.

It was there where I found my letters for HOPE…boy did the old ones need replacing…they were tattered and torn and faded almost into oblivion. I sure couldn’t let hope fade away, especially at the fresh start of a new year!

Emily Dickinson saw hope as a bird…when I re-read her poem again yesterday…her ideas on hope brought new insights for me….don’t you love it when you realize someone else has just expressed what you feel but haven’t been able to capture in your own thoughts?

When you take time to read more of the poem, more clarity on the perception of hope becomes available…..

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet, never, in Extremity.
It asked a crumb – of Me.

In the first stanza think about how much courage it takes to sing something without the lyrics or a set melody…just open your mouth and let whatever is in you come out….now that really is hope.

Hope never ceases to exist…even in the worst storms that confront us in our lives… hope continues to comfort us.

Hope never demands payment for us in return for its services. It is everywhere at any time when we need it but no thanks is expected in return for being our constant companion.  Wow!

Hope for me is an orange balloon. In one special scene from Mary Poppins Returns…Angela Lansbury, the balloon woman, gives balloons out to the park visitors with a word of advice….“Pick the right color and the right balloon for you and you will go as high as you have earned …by good deeds done.” (For some this meant the balloon just dropped to the ground.) But for others….hope…they flew higher than they had ever dreamed… seeing the world through different eyes.

For all of us Clemson fans….hope is flying high…tonight will be our greatest challenge to date…but if you win you want to have beaten the best. Orange hope for one and all shall lie….with the Tigers “who will fly high.” (I put some mementos together to create a Tiger wreath for tonight!)

I will spend the first half of the game  at my neighbors’  Sam and Donna Clark’s house and then come home to root, hope, and pray Clemson through the second half…via iphone with Donna. Go Tigers!

*Don’t forget! The West Ashley Chick-Fil-A on Savannah Highway will be offering “Tiger Paw” biscuits this morning from 6:30-10:30 – only at their location. So if you live close by and are a big Clemson fan….go get yourself a “Tiger Paw” biscuit! Great way to start the day! (Wish all of them were doing it!)




About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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