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The End of Hope (June 1, 2020)

I am beginning to understand the danger of hopefulness. My mind too often prefers to live in an alternate universe, the ideal version that should’ve been, could be--if only we were strong or courageous enough. My heart yearning to fly away from this callous and grotesque world where certain humans are disposable and our rage can no longer be contained. I admit, I am losing all hope and I am learning to be at peace with that.


This longing for something different dilutes the present, rendering it in half-tones, leaving the vivid colors only for my imagined life. I am left feeling often disappointed with my fellow humans for the violences they inflict, and with myself for expecting more. I struggle to find the words to explain to my daughter that this virus-and-violence riddled world is still beautiful and safe, at least for some of us.


I search for the boundary between lost hope and unrelenting despair. I have troubles finding it. Instead I once again make the choice to come back to what is certain, the only solid footing for this often treacherous journey:

  1. My breath (and the gift of this moment)

  2. This body (the only vehicle I have for the journey)

  3. The warmth of loved ones

  4. Nourishment (food, water, art)

  5. The kindness of strangers

  6. The solace available in the more than human world

During this time of increasing chaos in our world, where we are once again witnessing the extent of human inflicted violence, and the corresponding rage, we made a pilgrimage to a place that is sacred for myself and countless other living beings. Together we made our way to the gathering place of the Great Blue Herons. Where else can you go when all hope is lost but to a place where we could witness that in some corners of this world, things are just as they should be?


It was a place that could only be approached with reverence. These ancient and graceful birds chose this place as their home. Precariously placing their nests on the canopies of the tallest trees. Arriving and departing with such precision and gentleness so as to not disrupt the understood order of things.


Their songs and calls amplified by their sheer numbers, assuaged something in my anguished spirit. Serving as fuel and replenishment to once again find the courage to face our ruptured, burning and beautiful world.

Photo taken by Zulayka at the Heron Rookery in Durham, NC


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