Hope in darkness



The clock ticks 6 a.m.

Outside our Little House in the Big Woods the wind howls fiercely.  Father November has thrown a deep cloak of blackness across the breasts of trees and the wood stove sputters in the basement.

Barry still slumbers.

I must drive to work through darkness, hoping the wind won’t snap huge branches awry on the roads.  Florida feels long ago, a dream perhaps.

I shall schedule this post to appear at 9 a.m., when you’re awake, when darkness lifts its cloak and the world promises new possibilities.

Florida sunrise

Florida sunrise

We’ve lost our health insurance come January.  Blue Cross canceled us last month, even though Obama promises reinstatement.  That promise won’t matter; our employer won’t offer health insurance anymore.  We’re perusing the Marketplace.  Will we be winners or losers?  We may be poor enough to qualify for some subsidies; we may be rich enough to lose everything.  It’s Russian Roulette.

I listened to the TV news in Florida and witnessed why folks despair.  What fear-mongering!  I am so glad we can’t get TV service anymore.  (We could buy satellite if we so desired, which we don’t.)

It would be so easy to lose hope if one listened and resonated and believed the awful stories which endlessly circulate.  One might think the world is going to hell in a hand-basket.  (We’re always going to hell in a hand-basket, every generation moans.  What’s the world coming to, anyway?  How will we escape the earth’s demise, the politician’s greed, the killer’s rage?)

This is my weekly blessing post.

Blessing face

Blessing face

I feel rich beyond any fears.  Beneath the mind’s constant hopes and despairs, beneath the latest tragedy and suffering, the world gleams a treasure.  I don’t know why, but hope shines stronger in me than anything.  To lose hope would be a travesty, a wound bleeding endlessly.

Our lives are filled with fears and worries, if we allow them dominance, if they overcome the still pond which always surrounds us before we resonate with our latest possible devastation.  Yet how many unspeakable things have happened?  Have we been cast penniless, broken, despairing upon the shores of unthinkable suffering?

Perhaps some folks have drown in the quicksand of suffering.  I know it’s possible to take one’s life in overwhelming despair; to say “enough” and shoot the gun, swallow the poison, choke away breath.  Perhaps terrible illness or death or indignity or hunger has whittled away hope until it shivered and curled up around itself.



If the unthinkable happened, I perhaps naively imagine still turning toward the horizon of hope, toward that mirrored pond beneath the mind’s tumult, to discover where grace lingers at the edges, where it’s preparing to sprout, where new opportunities will grow.

Perhaps I’m deluding myself, but it’s a delusion which continues.  In the midst of the sorrow, in the midst of darkness, in the midst of wind blowing fiercely, in the midst of losing health insurance:  I can almost see the resolution of grace, the shining blessing disguised in loss, the way we can still dance unimpeded in the pouring rain, tree branches falling everywhere, still praising our opportunity to be alive, yes, alive, on this confusing, chaotic, fearful, joyful planet.

I will not be shackled to fear, oh no, oh please no.

November sunrise

November sunrise

I once read a story about souls begging to incarnate, to birth.  “Give us another chance to be alive!” they insist.

“Would you come even if your destiny is to die in the dust of Somalia, a bullet in your back, hunger in every move?”

“Yes!” say the souls, “Anything to be alive again…”

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in November 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Hope in darkness

  1. elmer says:

    After witnessing the horrors that befell my countrymen in Tacloban city etc., I now have no reason to say that — with all the troubles and worries — life is unfair.

  2. lisaspiral says:

    The darkness is always darker on those stormy mornings. Those are the days when all I want to do is go back to bed and hide under the covers. Hope is so powerful and undervalued. It provides motivation where fear is simply paralyzing. I love that you recognize your optimism as a blessing, not just for yourself but for us readers as well. Thank you.

  3. jeffstroud says:

    Powerful blog this morning! I think there is some sadness that reach out to you. Your visit with family in the land of Sunshine to full fledged winter has caused a stir…

    The power of hope somedays is all we have. The glimmer of Sunshine through the trees…

    Everything evolves, changes, the light to dark, the dark to light…

    Each breath is a blessing.

  4. Karen says:

    “Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 When you back your hopes with your faith, miracles happen and the path is revealed, So it will be, even i this…

  5. I heard the wind howling around our house in the wee hours of the morning, too, although I doubt it was the same wind. This morning, a FB friend posted this link ( http://hint.fm/wind/ ) to a wind map, which I found rather fascinating, even though the wind patterns didn’t show them blowing through Canada at all. 🙂

    I find it rather odd that Obama has seen fit to let health insurance companies leave their customers in the lurch like that. Even in Canada where we have public health coverage through the government, we are still allowed to supplement that coverage through plans like Blue Cross. Let’s hope that his government plan will cover you when you need it most.

    May you always have hope in the face of despair. 🙂

  6. Bonnie says:

    Clinging to hope, each in our own way, with our own pain and hoping to get through to the next day, the next week, the next moment, sometimes. And then I think of how fortunate I am, living here, instead of some distant island that has been devastated by nature’s cruel swipe. I hope that there is hope for them, and for all the people caught up in the various storms and wars. Sometimes I think my life is dark, but when I think of others, I know I am basking in the light. A wonderful, thought provoking blog, Kathy.

  7. Wow, stunning writing in this post, Kathy! Really, really nicely done. I can always count on you for that. Thank you! I, too, have clung to life–regardless of the loss, despite the despair.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  8. This is lovely! A book by Alan Watts – read when I was a young adult and much more open to new ideas – suggested that all of life is a game, that even the worst suffering, when viewed as “being sent back to START”, takes on a less devastating appearance. I like that idea, and pull it out when life seems especially bleak.”We are all just visitors here…” Thanks, Kathy!

  9. As lighter pinks than your morning sky in the post reaches our west coast dawn, I shake off the dark of night and resonate deeply with your observations and hopes. May trust that we as humanity shall find our way. Take care Kathy and safe travels through the November winds and dark mornings.

  10. Susan D says:

    I have often wondered why some of us always have hope, no matter what — that life-giving force that keeps us breathing and sustained and so much more. I’m grateful that you are such a soul. May blowing breaking branches miss you and your path … every time.

  11. Yes, aint, I mean, isn’t life one big mell of a hess? Unless one holds on to hope and goodness and mercy? And the fact that we live in bountiful and free country.

    I hope and pray that Obamacare can be fixed for the masses or our country will be in one huge fix. When I think about it all, it drives me to virtual distraction and I become consumed with anger. How could this have happened and the answer comes back that our president put too much trust in other people that really were not qualified for the jobs for which they were hired.

    Anyhow I am jumping the track here and your post is supposed to be about blessings. However when you added in loss of health care, I find it hard to find a blessing in the loss of health care.

    Last year I spent 7K for my daughter’s insurance. Her’s was through United Group a government assissted program, I think. The company sent out letters 2 months ago that insurance would end December 15th. I, on the other hand, have insurance because I worked for the governemnt and at this point those companies, I don’t think would dare drop millions from their group plans. I just had to add this although it is not relevent. 🙂

  12. Kathy – This is a beautifully wordsmithed, bittersweet post:

    BITTER in what has happened insurance-wise.
    SWEET in your stance, “I feel rich beyond any fears.”

    [The only reason we have health insurance is because Len is retired from 20-years of military service. However, that too may be taken away in the near future]…

  13. Barbara Kass says:

    Sometimes, within the safety of my current comfort, I think that if the Unthinkable happened, I would just be with the Unthinkable and endure it. Then I slap myself because I have a hard enough time enduring the cozy easy existence I currently have. Let’s see . . . what can I find wrong with my perfect life today? Hmmm? The reality is that you and i will both adapt to life’s challenges in whatever way maximizes our chances for survival. Greeting the morning darkness with courage is a survival skill.

  14. Heather says:

    I recognize that I live a blessed life right now. But I also recognize that it’s somewhat of a choice. I have fears and worries, and I don’t ignore them. I just don’t let them win. Hope and happiness rule.
    We, too, are losing our plans. The one we are replacing it with is more expensive. We will be okay. But perhaps we only believe that because we also don’t have news networks streaming fear into our home? 🙂

  15. P.j. grath says:

    These days, with all the death and despair coming from the Philippines, I don’t feel I can complain about anything in my life. We have plenty to worry and fret about, worries large and small, but what good does it do to dwell on them? My sister and I talked on the phone and were agreeing that just being dry and warm and well-fed is cause for thanksgiving.

  16. Dawn says:

    I’m sorry you’ll lose your health coverage. My brother was cancelled too. Somehow I had high hopes for national health care but I am discouraged now. I’m worried about him and what he will end up paying and wonder why he has to pay for stuff he doesn’t need….but I’m trying to stay positive because I was all for this whole overhaul when it started. Feel somewhat defensive about it now…so shall become quiet and wait and see. I will try to be hopeful.

  17. Joanne says:

    The thought of not owning a television is, in many ways, a blissful thought to me, yet I do enjoy nature shows, and cooking shows, and seeing the beauty in other countries, be it their homes, landscape or people. I avoid the news and any show which I even suspect will be unpleasant, much to the disgust of my eldest son who often asks, “How come you didn’t hear THAT news? Have you been living under a rock?” To which I reply that yes, I have, and I’m very happy there. You have put into words so beautifully the message of hope Kathy. There is always hope, and we can always find happiness in our own hearts. xxx

  18. Doom and gloom sells, which is why so many people spout it.

    The FDR quote “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” comes to mind.

    Good luck resolving the insurance issues, my sister is going through the same thing right now.

  19. I’m so sorry that you lost your health insurance, Kathy! I hope that you find something soon. Just make me angry that Obama Care is supposed to be affordable, yet from everything I’ve heard, MANY won’t be able to afford it. We’re lucky that Greg works for a big company and they’re still offering health insurance. At least for another year.

  20. Stacy says:

    I’m so sorry that your health care is being canceled, Kathy. Life does beat us down sometimes, and it seems that Roseanne Roseannadanna was right – if it’s not one thing, it’s another. You are fortunate, though, that you are an optimist. To see a light in the darkness is a rare gift – a blessing itself.

    I do believe the story – yes, yes, life, any life. I wrote an entire novel about it!! ❤

  21. Robin says:

    Powerful post, Kathy. Thank you.

  22. Wow – that wasn’t what I was expecting. Powerful and thought provoking stuff. Yes, hope is key…and that last bit about souls asking to incarnate…powerful, very powerful. Hugs, H xxxxxx

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