Looking for Acts of Kindness, Faith & Hope

At a time when life has changed and we are all learning to “shelter in place”, I have been looking for the good that continues to reveal itself. I have been looking for hope and faith.

Several times a week I take a walk around the neighborhood, and I find the innate goodness of people all around me. As we walk by each other, at a safe six-foot or more distance, people say hello, give a wave and a smile before we continue. I wonder in our hurried world pre-Covid 19, how many would be taking the time to say hello before moving on.

On my walk yesterday I found a neighborhood art gallery that someone had created next to the sidewalk. It is a unique way to encourage creativity and share it with the neighborhood. All ages are welcome. One simple act helps each of us feel a bit less isolated and alone. It helps foster a sense of community in a neighborhood.

Social Media helps me not feel isolated in this novel time. Facebook has helped me stay in contact with my friends scattered throughout the United States, Canada and further abroad. The Coronavirus posts I look at occasionally, however,  if there is news of family and friends I read it. It is a good reminder that we are all still out there in this big wide world. I am also enjoying all the funny videos and cartoons people are posting. It is good to laugh a little every day.

Via the Nextdoor App, I am reminded of the generosity of others. People can be generous in unique times. If someone makes a plea for hand sanitizer, paper towels or toilet paper, Nextdoor neighbors respond. people are shopping for the elderly. Yesterday someone was looking for a cap and gown to borrow so she could take photos of herself for her canceled graduation from college. Within the first few minutes, she had over six offers. When humans slow down and find themselves in unique situations they exhibit kindness and thoughtfulness that are often forgotten when we are hurriedly moving from one place to another. And…those folks on Nextdoor are still keeping an eye out for the ever-elusive Elsie the cat.

My Great Niece, Arden

Zoom, a meeting app, offers me the opportunity to say hello to my sisters, welcome a new great-niece into the world, take a Scottish Dance class with other dancers from all over the world, practice yoga with one of my favorite yoga teachers, and so much more. Zoom, Facetime and other communication apps, allow my world to remain large.

I do not need to look far for an example of generosity. My friends, Cynthia and Ward have opened their home to me. They have opened their arms and invited me in. I have my own bedroom and a big, real shower. And the view from my bedroom is lovely. We have been getting along well and enjoying each other’s company. It is good to be with others. Even I would grow tired of my own company.

I will continue to search for the unique in this very unique time. I am grateful for continuing signs of faith and hope small and large. I am encouraged by the kindness of strangers and friends. Today I am grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope Changes Everything

Wow, January has been a busy month. Besides work, hiking, home repairs and improvements I have also had my friends from Chicago and Florida visiting. And it has been fun.

Helen

Helen

Helen arrived early in January. It was so good to see her and spend some time with her. Our lives have intertwined for many years. About 3 weeks after Jim died Helen came to town for a week. Friends are amazing in knowing just what you need. At that point her visit was just what I needed. This January, once again, her visit was just what I needed.

HOPE

One of our discussions struck a chord with me and I have been pondering this since her visit.

Hope can be defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Or, to want something to happen or be the case.

Hope is something we all need. It is part of our every day lives, even though we don’t specifically address it. Sometimes it helps me get up in the morning. Sometimes it helps me to go to bed at night. Hope is a part of my everyday life. Often it surfaces and I don’t even know it is there.

Helen’s mom is in her late 80’s. MJ is not able to live at home and has not lived there for many years. Until this year they have been able to keep MJ’s home. Early on they would take her to visit and she would travel from room to room and review her treasured collections. That house I believe, represented hope for MJ. It may have given her daughter hope as well. No one knows what the outcome of any single event in our lives will be. Hope lets us know there are options.

Jim on Our Property

Jim on Our Property

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Spring on my property

When Jim was diagnosed with the metastasis of his cancer the first thing he said to me was “Let’s  sell the land in Colorado” (We have 45 acres of bare land and we were planning to build and move there). I told him no,I did not think we should worry about that and if it became necessary I could take care of it later. I am glad I told him this. I believe that the land symbolized hope for a positive outcome. Although that did not happen, I recognize now how important it was for both of us to hold on to that property and know there was more than one possibility there.

Now hope helps me see the future. Hope I believe is part of the grieving process. When the days are not so shiny and positive hope helps me get through those moments, knowing that the next moment, hour or day may shine a little brighter. My friends and even strangers also help me hold hope in my heart. It is because of the love and support and caring of others that I am able to lift myself back up out of those darker places and move forward with my life and know there are unknown possibilities ahead for me to explore.

My days have been much brighter since about a week or so  before Christmas. Hope helps me to see a future with possibilities. It helps me to grow and expand. When I am feeling sad or low hope certainly can help me remember to call someone or take a walk and get myself going again. Hope also helps me see beyond undefined fear that has become more prevalent since Jim’s death. Hope pushes aside fear and I am glad that hope is the stronger of the two emotions.

Hope is always part of my adventure into life. It has been since I was young and it will be until I am too old to move any more. But you know, even then the face of hope just changes. It will be always a part of my life.

How does hope affect you? I would love to have my readers share this with me.