Practices From the Inside Out: Hope on a Spring Morning

Practices From the Inside Out: Hope on a Spring Morning April 27, 2019

Hope on a Spring Morning

The sun dawns a little earlier on each spiring morning. Every day of spring brings a little more light and a little more warmth.

We fold up winter and put it away for a few months.

While winter mornings are a struggle and a challenge, a spring morning can be a revelation. The dark, grey world in which we thought we slept is, in fact, a celebration of colors.

We wake up to more than sunlight on a spring morning. As we practice opening our eyes we realize each morning is more than a list of things to do. A cup of tea helps us see hope on a spring morning.

Each morning reminds us it holds more than we expect.

Some of us have lost our hope during a long, cold, challenging winter. It is all we can do to keep moving and keep getting up each morning. Just as we were running out of firewood, out of energy, out of hope, spring arrived to keep us going.

It is easy for us to miss how spring turns the world around us brighter and warmer each morning. Our eyes are barely open each morning as we fumble our way toward emerging from our cocoon.

Some of us have been burned by hope and prefer to live without it.

We have enough of a challenge dealing with what we already expect. Why would we want more?

When we are ready to listen we sit for a few minutes and appreciate the hope of a spring morning.

Drinking our tea we slowly open ourselves to the hope of the spring morning around us.

Spring makes each morning with its own unique flavors. We taste each one, rolling it around in our mouths before we swallow it.

Finding Hope on a Spring Morning

Some of us believe hope is unrealistic, maybe even the opposite of realistic.

We may be convinced of our need to face the bleakness of our prospects in all their stark darkness. They focus their attention on the obstacles we must overcome, the challenges threatening to hold us back. Some of us are committed to do whatever it takes to completely understand the depth of how hard it will be.

Now, I appreciate a juicy worst case scenario. I have responded, after hearing someone else’s dire assessment, “But, it is even worse than that . . .” We think it motivates us when we take the measure of the most challenging possibilities.

Difficult situations do not inspire us. Hope inspires us. We remember we have dealt with issues like this before, or we know people who have, and we find hope. Hope pushes us forward, helping us find ways through or around what threatens to defeat us.

Our memories tend to shortchange hope. Hope is not easy to measure or quantify, so we often discount it. We like to think of ourselves as courageous or insightful. Seeing our actions as hopeful does not sound nearly as heroic or significant.

Hope can feel small. It is not the flame of persistence or brilliant analysis. Hope is the spark which lights the fire. With no hope our fire would never be ignited in us.

Our hope may feel small or weak because we do not practice exercising it. It may help us to step into situations that will stretch our hope. We may need to build more powerful hope in other people.

We need to give our hope the fuel and oxygen it needs to grow stronger and brighter.

Recognizing Hope on a Spring Morning

It is easy for us to assume our hope comes from things we can control. We like to think if we work hard enough or believe the right things we will earn hope.

Recognizing the gift of hope on a soft spring morning breeze can be more challenging for us.

Many of us want to believe we deserve to have hope, but that is not how hope works. We do not qualify for hope after we have made a sufficient contribution.

Hope does not depend on who we are or what we do or how much we want it.

Spiritual life gives us the gift of hope as we sit in stillness on a spring morning. We sit by ourselves, take a deep breath, and sit listening to sacred stillness. As we sit the stillness within us and all around us reminds us hope is a gift.

We sit sipping our tea and watching the dawn a little earlier each spring morning. Every morning is a new beginning demonstrating the hope we have.

No matter how hopeless or overwhelming our lives may seem, we sit and listen to hope in the stillness.

Breathing in the Hope of a Spring Morning

We breathe in hope on a spring morning the same ways we drink our morning cup of tea.

Some of us draw in hope one sip at a time, savoring its flavor on our tongues. Each bit is a delicious experience of flavor. Others of us gulp our hope, trying to fill ourselves with as much as quickly as we can.

Spiritual life assures us hope is not something we need to hoard or protect on a spring morning. We have an abundance of hope at our disposal waiting for us. There is no need to conserve hope, to save it for a more hopeless time. Each of us, all of us can revel in hope every morning. There is no deficit of hope, no matter how we might feel.

Our hope is renewed and replenished each day. We breathe in hope as we listen to sacred stillness.

Breathing in the hope of a spring morning is a contemplative practice. As we are open to spiritual life within us and around us we receive hope.

Hope sparks the fire of inspiration within us on a spring morning.

Where will we find hope on a spring morning today?

How will we experience hope on a spring morning this week?

[Image by LoopZilla]

Greg Richardson is a spiritual life mentor and coach in Southern California. He is a recovering attorney and a lay Oblate with New Camaldoli Hermitage near Big Sur, California. Greg’s website is  StrategicMonk.com, and his email address is StrategicMonk@gmail.com.


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