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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Finite disappointments

"We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope." -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sometimes you don't get the job. Or the guy. Sometimes you can't afford a haircut. Or a meal out. Or gifts for friends. Sometimes you lose your an entire day's worth of work when your computer crashes. The one person you really want to talk to is not responding to any of your calls. You order hot chocolate, and get served bitter coffee instead. Sometimes someone close to you hurts your feelings one too many times. Sometimes you lie in bed at night wondering where you belong in the universe. When the pieces of your world will ever come together. When you will find work you love again. Get asked out on a date by someone you are actually excited to be with. Find a community that feels like home.

And sometimes you get to plant seeds in a greenhouse in the middle of a rainstorm, and listen to the downpour sliding over the plastic, the wind howling around you, loving the sound. Sometimes friends invite you over for dinner unexpectedly. Sometimes you get to garden with a group of youth that help you to get outside yourself a little, and focus on serving others for an hour, or an afternoon. Sometimes the rain falling rhythmically in sheets outside at night is luxurious and calming. A quiet walk at night on wet sidewalks helps you to re-group and find hope in the reflection of stars and branches beneath your feet. Sometimes a stranger catches your eye in a coffee shop and smiles. Sometimes you win trips to a Caribbean Island in the middle of winter. Sometimes you go into the childrens' section of a bookstore for the first time in years, on a rainy day, looking for a birthday present for a friend's daughter, who is turning two, and end up spending a couple of hours hunkered down on a miniature chair at a little table, fully engrossed in planting a garden that grows and grows, transforming an entire city; or searching for your own colour like Mr. Chameleon, who was tired of turning the colour of everything around him; or trying to figure out where you belong in the universe with a little boy who searches high and low, only to find that he belongs right where he is, in the present moment. Sometimes you spend a Friday evening surrounded by 19 new friends whose company you enjoy. Who make you laugh, and remind you to be silly. Sometimes it rains and rains for days and days, and, instead of wishing it were sunny, you spend time listening more, inhaling the aroma of earth, and feeling blessed.

Sometimes you feel more than a little shaky. But your friends make you laugh. They make you laugh and laugh. They put things back into perspective. Sometimes you drive home after a lovely, long, rich evening with friends, still tender on the inside, but knowing that this moment, too, will pass. That life is full of finite disappointments, but that you are also surrounded with infinite moments of hope, beauty and courage. Sometimes you whisper prayers of gratitude into the night before you fall asleep, listening to rain endlessly outside.

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