11.29.21 “Hope Spots”

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I was listening to a friend of mine, Dr. John Bruno, give a presentation recently about the state of coral reefs. He is a remarkable human who has given his life to inspecting and protecting this fragile, yet tenacious Earth of ours. John would call himself a Marine Ecology professor at UNC … I would call him a warrior. His studies have taken him around the globe to study the state of the reefs. In a matter of a few decades, the seafloor has reduced from 50-15% … and yet … stay with me … breathe – Dr. Bruno said that one thing scientists look for are, “Hope Spots.”

This term was coined by Dr. Sylvia Earle, and while I know that they are places in the natural world where nature is thriving and restoration is audaciously possible … I got lost in the beauty of the term and how it translated in my mind.

What if we, flawed and broken, fragile and fractured humans that we are – what if we focused on our own personal hope spots? Where would they be? Are they external places in which we reconnect with our former, stronger selves … or could they be internal, only a memory away? When I heard about hope spots, these were immediately the kinds of questions that came to my mind and skipped and stuttered across my subconscious.

After a great deal of reflection, I think, for me, hope spots are everywhere. They are anywhere I can feel myself coming back to life. There is one in the curve of my daughter’s smile … another in the twinkle of my son’s eyes. There is one that can only be found in the palm of my husband’s outstretched hand. One that resides in my mom’s voice, and another in my dad’s arms. They are in my scars, those I still see, and those I still feel. They are anywhere I let the light in, floating on the faith of a prayer. Skipping on the whim of a wish.

What about you? Would you be willing to share a spot? Maybe someone will be able to find one of their own from your words. Soon our world will be so littered with brilliant bits of hope, that an incandescent path will form and light the way for us all. It could happen … expect a miracle and you just might find one.

So what do you say? Hope with me?

Elle

11.11.21 Veteran’s Day

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Whenever I teach my students about the literary element of symbolism, I tell them that the American flag is like my wedding ring, and that it symbolizes a promise, not perfection. I tell them that even though I have this ring on my finger, and even though I love my husband, there are days that we mess up … days that we hurt each other with our words, or our too-busy actions – but it doesn’t minimize the promise of the ideal. Wearing the ring on my left hand reminds me, visually, every day, to keep trying, to keep loving, albeit imperfectly. Our flag should do the same. I am more than well aware that our country is imperfect, that sometimes, lots of times, those in power do not honor her as they should, but I also know that this flag symbolizes a hope for greater things than man can master. Just as love is personified in my ring, hope and justice are personified in her stars and stripes. And today, I honor all the brave people who choose to fight for what this flag symbolizes, not the inherent flaws, but the intentional desire to see America rise and represent all who choose to love her.

11.2.21 Wander Home

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Every so often,

but never often enough

I let my mind wander –

and where, and when

it goes here, and there

I wonder if my riddled, tangled thoughts

might someday collide

in a flash of brilliance

in a cataclysm of darkness

in a lazy, hazy in-between.

Every so often,

but never often enough

I let my mind wander –

and like nimble fingers sifting through a catalog of thoughts

I allow the well-worn edged memories to surface first

deserving,

once again,

my time?

Attention?

Intention?

Just like that, my thoughts are re-rooted

Do we always return home?

Do even the subconscious, ethereal parts of ourselves seek the familiar?

The comfortable?

Every so often,

but never often enough

I let my mind wander –

and I wonder … if I might see you again then,

and there,

just like I always do – 

just like home