Recovering Hope

As I work on another round of revisions for a book I’ve been writing, I haven’t felt inclined to put words to the page for much else. It seems I save my reflection for daily dog walking during this breathtaking fall, the golden sun and blue sky above me. Yellow and russet leaves sailing through the air and blowing over sidewalks.

I read too, when I can, and I thought I’d share something that touched me. The pandemic, politics, climate change—the pressure and problems of our time have affected the distance we may feel between offense and defense. I’ve noticed, even in my neighborhood, shorter tempers and a lack of everyday civility. I wonder: are we hopeless? And if so, how can we bring hope back?

In the essay “Oremus,” from the book Daily Prayer, Pádraig Ó Tuama calls his readers to remember our hope through prayerful (observant) living:

Prayer, like poetry, like breath, like our own names, has a fundamental rhythm in our bodies. It changes, it adapts, it varies from the canon. It sings, it swears, it is syncopated by the rhythm underneath the rhythm, the love underneath the love, the rhyme underneath the rhyme, the name underneath the name, the welcome underneath the welcome, the prayer beneath the prayer.

So let us pick up the stones over which we stumble, friends, and build altars. Let us listen to the sound of breath in our bodies. Let us listen to the sounds of our own voices, of our own names, of our own fears. Let us name the harsh light and soft darkness that surround us. Let’s claw ourselves out from the graves we’ve dug. Let’s lick the earth from our fingers. Let us look up and out and around. The world is big and wide and wild and wonderful and wicked, and our lives are murky, magnificent, malleable, and full of meaning. Oremus. Let us pray.

– Pádraig Ó Tuama
I hope his words help to steady you, to help you to recover some of your own hope during this challenging time.

Lisa is a writer, a lifelong practitioner of yoga, and author of the online course Figuring Out What's Next--written during this time of cultural transition. Learn more about it at the link below.

Published by Lisa

Instructor, author, and part-time mountain monk.

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