"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing —
to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from —
my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing,
all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."

~C.S. Lewis


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

hope, on sale with coupon

Life is composed of things that are more important than they should be.

You are existing, moving, minding your own business in a black-and-white world, and suddenly something meaningless becomes doused with a bucket of scarlet importance, like a single snowflake on your tongue.

And it feels like hope.


I’m at the front doors of Kroger, shopping list in hand: six apples, some bagels, a bottle of wine. And more I’m sure I’ve forgotten, and more I need that they don’t sell. Where do you buy joy, or happiness, or peace?

Hope. On sale. 50% off with coupon.

For the past year, the colors had been slowly fading from my world like a book in the August sun on a front porch swing. With every day, I had less energy to paint in the color that was draining away or to remember what it was like to see beauty where others saw darkness. Now I was the one who saw in shades of grey.

But sometimes you don’t know what will become color in your grayscale world.

In front of the grocery store doors, a pallet of miniature roses. Cheap green plastic pots and buds wilting from the hot Texas sun, soil dry from neglect and leaves turning brown.

But color.

Green and pink and soft dull white, red-tipped buds that promised to bloom and some that already had. Smeared yellow leaves with purple jagged edges, tips curled down like toes in sand and petals that felt like peace. Long green stems and pink-rimmed buds, bees crawling in dirt like children at play, and as my fingers brush through flowers and leaves, my world becomes a three-dollar rose bush.

And like in the stories you heard as child and you always wished were true, for a moment the curse is broken and my world is drenched in color, and I remember what I used to know: that there is beauty in this world, and to see it is called faith.

That morning, I took a rose bush home.

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In the end, I believe that life is composed of things that are more important than they should be, like sunsets and love and small red rosebushes.

To see that is an unreasonable thing, an unreasonable happiness.

But it feels like hope.