Hope smiles from the threshold of the year
to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier’
– Alfred Lord Tennyson
When I read the news these days, I am filled with anxiety and confusion regarding the future of humanity. From climate change warnings to an increase in prejudice-fueled attacks, there is a lot to fear.
The only balm for these uncertainties is hope, which always looks ahead expectantly for something better. Hope isn’t mere pie-in-the-sky wishing; hope inspires real planning and action that can create the future we long to see. Without hope, we may walk passively and apathetically into calamity.
I was inspired by the Alfred Lord Tennyson quote at the top of this post, which comes from a play entitled The Foresters. As we move into the new year, I think of a child looking out on the world with eyes untarnished by disappointment. This is an especially potent symbol today on the Winter Solstice, when the light begins its rebirth.
I used this image of a child for a series of five Hope cut-outs, two of which I included in this post (above and to the right). I also created some Hope Christmas cards (below). Astute readers might recognize the child’s pose, which is a modified version of a Holy Family design from two years ago.
The boy in the picture could be the Infant Christ, the Divine Child of Yule, or even the Child Archetype that dwells within each of us. All of these references illustrate the same thing: a beautiful new beginning, when the future is totally undefined and every possibility is within reach.
Let us look to the future with the eyes of hope.