The Many Faces of Hope

Dear Reader:

As I look out my side window the shadows are rapidly lengthening and darkness is slowly painting the lower landscape with unlit colors. It is 5:30 Sunday afternoon.

We had lots of rain, in intervals throughout the night and early this morning…then it ended leaving heavy gray clouds…but now…late on a Sunday afternoon… the sun is popping out (at the last moment) to reassure us that it will be back tomorrow)…the first day of the week will start with sunshine… now that’s one face of hope.

When I dropped by Anne’s to drop off a book earlier in the day she told me she had something for me that I might remember but not necessarily recognize. It was my old H O P E cloth letters from Samantha Moore’s shop that had faded from the sun and rain…to a stage of utter in-distinction…back years ago.

I don’t remember Anne taking them…but apparently she recently found them again and repainted the letters…once more HOPE was bright. How very kind...especially since the letters on the deck fence, at the present, look like a tattered and torn flag after a battle.

*See Anne’s ‘do-over’ of each individual cloth letter on the post title photo. 🙂 I hung them on the mantle to enjoy last night and will put them out on a bright sunny Monday…today!

Madeleine L’Engle spent years writing about hope in many different forms and fashions….hope for her has never been something one just dreamed about and/or crossed their fingers for…it was and is a much more demanding gift of the spirit.

She recalls having “terrible teachers” as a young child, who assumed that her physical disability — a faulty knee that rendered her clumsy at any athletic activity — also meant that she “wasn’t very bright.” And yet the disheartening experience was essential to L’Engle’s creative development.

Shunned by peers and teachers, Madeleine spent much of her childhood reading and thinking alone. Now she feels that she couldn’t have written her books if she had been happy and successful with her peers. Like most creative individuals she showed her creativity first of all by being able to turn a disadvantage into an advantage.

Madeleine’s  guiding light directed her to the realm of associating hope with mercy. She believed the two “companions” walk hand in hand guiding us along our own individual paths. Mercy is a forgiving kindness coupled with hope…an embedded form of trust so powerful that you follow your inner spirit wherever it takes you…helping and then bringing others along their sacred path.

Madeleine’s greatest gift she left  us…was a reminder note….to reassure us that strength — creative strength, moral strength — is gained not despite the presence of adversity but because of it. It is only then that hope appears.

So until tomorrow….HOPE…TRUST…KINDNESS

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh






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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