The equinox is a day when there is a moment of balance. The sun is directly above the equator and consequently the length of daylight and night light hours are equal. This momentary balance occurs just before the earth tilts and leans in to a different season in the northern and southern hemispheres. This year the Equinox occurs on Monday 20th March. We’ll be tilting towards Winter; in the northern hemisphere, towards Spring – always a wonderful manifestation of Hope!
I have a troubled relationship with hope. I know I’ve written about this before. I’ve questioned whether faith and hope are strongly correlated – yes they are – here in my country, South Africa, hope springs eternal, especially amongst the poorest of the poor. I quoted T.S. Eliot’s poem in that long ago blog post. Here, I’ve excerpted a portion from East Coker, the 2nd of his Quartets.
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope. For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith. But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
The last time I felt a pure surge of Hope was 27th April 1994 when Mr Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa. The long wait for the walk to freedom was worthwhile. The glow and euphoria lasted a long while and I felt the pride of patriotism. It is now thoroughly evaporated. And still we wait – for a miracle that can turn this country around and fulfil its wondrous potential? Is it at all possible? I don’t know – there is no certainty – is there ever? Except for the changing of seasons and that night follows day – and that miracles do happen –
The other day while wandering and walking and seeing spots of beauty here and there, I got to thinking about beauty and it’s link to hope because, when I see something of beauty, a pleasurable sense arises in me. And then a spark of gratitude and – is this joy? And I wonder if this is hope stirring, hope that there will always be beauty. That Mother Nature will always deliver, while knowing that her destructive side is ever present –
My eyes see the beauty of colour, the markings, the sturdy stem, the unfurling of the bloom, the pattern on the leaf, shades of green, shadows –
I hear the twittering and the chattering of the birds or a piece of music that moves me –
I touch my grandson’s angelic head –
I taste a sweet grape, and get a whiff of the fragrance of fynbos wafting by on the wisp of a breeze every now and then in certain parts of Plett and surrounds –
The moonlight, clouds, the shadows, the sea, mountains, a piece of writing, music, family, a stranger’s smile, a kindness shown, a shell, a stone, a soul connection, organisations such as the Gift of The Givers bringing aid and relief to any part of the world – even the remotest – where it is needed. Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, the founder, is born and bred here in South Africa. His stated philosophy: ‘… the solid belief in the common humanity that unites us’. We are so pleased, proud and privileged to call him one of our own. His vision is a beacon of light – for me and many – his story is remarkable –
There is beauty everywhere. In the blessings of friendships, in real life and via stratosphere connections. The value of all these and more than I’ve mentioned. And Hope, that goodness and beauty will always prevail. A real and strong antidote to Despair, even if it continues to hover in the wings as it must, for it is the other side of Hope –
A card from halfway around the world, sent to me 6 months ago arrived just recently. I’d almost given up hope that it would arrive, our postal service being what it is. But it did! So much beauty in this card. Not just in the card but in the person who sent it to me. I wonder if I could paint it. I see the stepping stones, a bird on a branch, another on the wing, a woman in red shawl in repose, branches, dark and light, is that a sunrise or sunset with the moon fully present –
indigenous collection by CAP ‘Migration’ copyright Betty Albert
A book sent to me from half way around the world last year, also arrived 6 months later. Treasured.
Which makes me think about hope being lost and then found … maybe hope needs to be truly lost for it to be found –
Hope: the last item from Pandora’s box. From Wikipedia –Hope is the only good god remaining among mankind; the others have left and gone to Olympus.
If she’s in the box, may she be released and if she’s already out the box may she spread far and wide … may hope prevail –
A woman from the valley of the Omo river in southern Ethiopia 600 miles near Addis Ababa. This Suri tribe ‘…use their bodies and hairstyles of flowers and leaves to express with ancestral artistic sensitivity their constant search for beauty’.
Australian artist and photographer Giovanna Aryafara giovannaphotography.com
I have a neck that is causing me gyp, and my teeth as per recent x ray need specialist treatment which will be lengthy – and the big question is where will I have this treatment. Unfortunately while Plett has excellent dentists there are no specialists. We’ve been given recommendations. Port Elizabeth, 240 kms away, where I was born – maybe there I will be where my roots are – while having some root treatment and other stuff – 🙂 or Cape Town, only 550 kms away where I can get excellent no doubt costly treatment and can go to and fro from home every now and then … what’s there not to like. Overnight enroute at my sister’s in Wilderness which cuts the journey by 100 kms. Or even in Johannesburg – to make a road trip, on my own – 1228 kms away – through the Karoo – the driving not without its dangers, especially in Johannesburg where large potholes and other deceptive ones are everywhere … I would have to be extra cautious and hyper vigilant at all times and everywhere. In spite of this I’m leaning towards a road trip, tout sole through the wide open spaces of the Karoo – the stars at night – being on my own – but I have to make decisions and they have to be made soon – driving to Johannesburg may be chancing it although I would stay overnight. I remain grateful that I can afford the big costs coming up. We are not insured for dental work.
Thank you for reading. I so appreciate this. I hope this finds you all well and in good cheer, weathering the storms yet having a firm mast. May the Force be with you. Happy Weekend, Happy Equinox.