I remember writing this poem. I was walking a beach not too far from where I live. The ocean loomed that day. In my mind, I was searching for something to hang onto, which means, I was looking for words. Something I could say aloud and repeat over and over to prevent myself from going to a dark place.
Some words sound better when read aloud. When voiced, they come to life. They have a kind of rhythm, a kind of feeling that you can’t experience when you read silently. Speaking words aloud allows us to experience them. When spoken this poem becomes a declaration.
This is the hope we hold, the new will forever dawn.
The first line came to me as a kind of lifeline. It suggests that, despite challenges and setbacks, things will not always be the way they are. The night will end and the day will come, and then another day, and another, and another.
Essentially what this means to me is, here, where I am right now, is not forever. Something new is coming, and for a lot of us, including me, that feels like hope.
And although better does not rise with every new day,
Of course, we know that every new day doesn’t automatically mean things will get better. Even though days keep coming, improvement isn’t guaranteed with each sunrise.
This line acknowledges the silent ‘middle’ we often experience on the way to better days. It speaks to the less noticeable, transitional moments when we’re in the process of moving forward.
During this “middle” period, it might seem like not much is happening on the surface, but beneath the surface, there’s often growth, learning, and preparation.
the backflow of life proves with time, that generosity, kindness and forgiveness are as forceful if not more, than ever the deepest realms of fear,
On the beach that day, I was aware of fear. I was afraid that newness would not come. I feared I would be stuck in pain and confusion forever. To counteract my fear, I asserted to myself that I would try to be generous, kind and forgiving even as I experienced lack, heartache and anger.
These words suggest that good and goodness are powerful. Even if we are scared that things won’t get better, that the night will never end, we can make the hard times fruitful as we practice generosity, kindness, forgiveness and the like.
and will with fixed intent, deliver unto us manifold facets of love.
Generosity, kindness and forgiveness are different expressions of love. As I use my power to practice these things even in hard times, I believe I will see them show up in my own life. This is not a transaction where doing one thing guarantees a specific result. This is simply an expression of faith that in being loving I will become less controlled by fear.
Say the words you need to hear.
So, my friends, what do you need to say aloud that will foster hope in this season? What words do you dare to proclaim at the start of a new year? I say, write the words you need to read. Say the words you need to hear. Throw yourself a lifeline. Embrace a fresh start, even if you’re still waiting for daylight, by penning a poem, a paragraph, heck, even just a sentence to hitch a little hope to your heart.
The poem featured in this post is part of a collection called ‘Beyond the Safety of Trees‘ available from bookstores worldwide. Immerse yourself in a symphony of 74 wilderness-themed poems and 40 evocative writing prompts.