I planned on a 45 minute walk today, but when the British guy on my phone said “Foity fiiive minutes thuty seconds,” I wanted to keep going.  I wanted to continue to enjoy the 65-degree air.  I wanted to keep experiencing the feeling I had deep within me.  Hope. 

The overnight temperature started it all. With windows open, the din of the air conditioning unit was replaced with a chorus of crickets.   A sunny, brisk morning followed.  As soon as I stepped out of the door for my daily walk, I felt like I could breathe again, taking in a fresh, cool breeze, rather than being struck by a wall of heavy, hot air.     

Balloons to welcome pre-schoolers.

The first thing I noticed today was the new drop-off for the church pre-school across the street.  Balloons marked the entrance to welcome children back to something that represents school for now.  Today is also the first day of virtual learning in our school district.  I loved the first days of the school year.  New Weejuns loafers, new uniforms, new books, new teachers, new fall TV shows like, The Monkees, and of course a new start. The first days of school brought hope.  Even though it’s not what we all want today, the semblance of school and the dedication of the teachers brings hope to me.  I wish that for the students too

There was a good showing of strollers this morning around the neighborhood.  Babies and little ones are the epitome of hope.  They are too young to have specific memories of this trying time, but their parents will tell them. They will pass on what they learned about love, dedication, and resiliency. 


My neighbors have a gigantic Biden sign on their fence.  When I look at it from my driveway, I see the sign, their fence, then gigantic sunflowers peeking over from their neighbor’s yard.  The blooms are enormous-the size of dinner plates.  Somehow seeing the political sign with the glorious flowers behind it made me think of better times ahead.   Republican John Kasich spoke at the Democratic National Convention.  Just that gave me hope that both sides will see the importance of working together to solve some of the most daunting issues of our lifetimes.  I know I’m a dreamer, but I’m allowed to hope.

At noon today, I will cheer on the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Yes, watching hockey has given me hope.  Sounds silly.  I’m not even a huge hockey fan.  But seeing successful Bubble Basketball, Bubble Hockey, and F1 Racing, allows me to look forward.  Seeing sports has added back a welcome touch of normalcy in our household. It’s also added hope.  It’s not just that I’m finally sitting in my living room watching the Blue Jackets rather than competition shows on Netflix, but that these organizations pulled something off that most people doubted could happen.  I think there must be lessons learned here.  Can we replicate any of these strategies in safely returning us to normal?

I hope I can attend a Jackets game next year.  I hope I can feel comfortable having coffee or dinner with friends.  I hope I can soon safely travel to see my family.  Those things still feel impossible for me right now, and it gets me down.  But on days like today when I feel full of hope, I’m thankful.

I wrote this about a week ago, but was reluctant to post it.  Somehow it felt too personal, maybe even too positive.  While I find hope in the first day of school, I’m aware of the hardships many Americans are facing.  I understand how difficult the new school year must be for countless students, families, and teachers.  I shared and posted my feelings so it might encourage someone else to look for hope.

In just a short week, much has changed for me. A family medical emergency (14 hours away by car) made me worry about when I’ll be able to safely travel.  The Jackets lost. It’s miserably hot again.  So while things aren’t so rosy, and my walk today was just awful, I know there will be another day just like last Wednesday soon!


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