Is developing hope like building a campfire? Is joy built atop hope’s foundational flames. Maybe the breath of hope sweeps over dormant embers to light them again into joy’s warm flame. Maybe it’s catching a moment and nurturing it well that it may build lasting warmth. There are times when the embers of my heart have gone cold and gray, but with care and attention to much needed moments I think life can be renewed. Surely a spark remains. Surely, I can connect with it next it surfaces. Like a warm ember left below the gray ashes of a night’s fire it takes only a carefully directed breeze to bring it to life. Surely you’ve seen it before. The morning after a late night campfire a pile of gray ash sits where warmth’s flame once burned. There, on a cold morning, I can still feel warmth rising up from what seems to be a pile of dust. Grabbing a stick I poke and prod, brush away dormant ash to find an ashy black and white ember. With a careful breath in its direction that black and white pulses orange. It quickly fades back to black. Another breath, it pulses orange again fading black a bit slower. Determined I again breathe its direction. Breath after breath the ember pulses brighter and brighter. Then, with little warning and much anticipation the orange coal jumps to life in yellow flame. Stack around it other dormant coals and that pile jumps again to life. Lay atop it more fodder for its flame and the seemingly dead fire of the night before is back to life offering its warmth once again.
There’s hope, right? Hope to be rebuilt? Hope to find life at the bottom of a pile of dusty ash? Surely there’s one ember still holding heat. At least one. Maybe more. Maybe?
How do you fan the flames of hope and joy? Who challenges you back to life? Which environments being you perspective? What work engages your whole person? What do you need to do to open up to for living fully into hope and joy?
My earlier post, Hope, Joy and Fireflies, reflects on the start of this journey