Awake My Soul to Hope

In the Mumford and Sons song, “Awake My Soul,” there’s a line that says, “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”  I just returned from a trip to visit my aunt. In her bathroom, she has a towel that reads, “Love, Family, Faith.” In those three things she has invested her entire life with all the love she could give.

For a long time, hope was how I invested my love. I built my career on hope. You kind of have to if you go into the arts. I built my family on hope, starting with the day I said yes to my husband’s marriage proposal. I built my community work and activism on hope. Hope that things really could improve.

At some point in the last turbulent two years, I sort of lost some hope. The first days of the pandemic felt so incredibly hopeless as the streets of our cities became ghost towns and the hospitals filled to capacity. The political climate in this country felt hopeless, so did the cultural divides. The struggling publishing industry has left many of my writer friends feeling discouraged, and now there’s a war raging that feels like a throwback to World War II. Is there any hope humans will ever stop fighting?

Hope, though, is a life force. It is pure energy. Without it, we falter, we stagnate, we wither. Hope is our anchor. It keeps us safe and strong during all the storms life throws at us. Hope has seen us through the darkest days in our history. Hope is the reason babies are born.

Without hope, there is no creativity, no art, no music. No ambition or inspiration or drive. Without it there is also no peace, no stillness, no divine guidance.

When I was writing Remember Wake, my novel about the survivors of the Japanese prisoner-of-war camps in World War II, a few of the men told me when a prisoner lost hope, the others avoided him. They knew he was on his way out. Without hope, he could not live, and they did not want to pick up on his hopelessness. Every one of the survivors I spoke to lived for hope. It’s a dark story, I know, but that message has stuck with me all these years.

It’s time to get back to a place of hope. For all the bad that is going on in this world, there is plenty of good. There are smart, dedicated, forward-thinking individuals working for positive change. There are new inventions on the horizon. There are young leaders emerging who see a brighter future and who embrace their intuition. And there’s art to reflect all the beauty in this world and to challenge us to do better.

So, I’m asking my soul today to awaken again more fully to hope. To give my life back to love and joy and peace. To raise my own vibration and hopefully help raise the vibration for us all. I’m investing my faith today in a favorite poem by Emily Dickinson called, “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers.”

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

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