Yes, I know we are engulfed in scenes of apocalyptic-scale catastrophes across the globe. Fires. Floods. Populations displaced and at risk. War. Hunger. Covid and other diseases running rampant. The economy is growing/the economy is shrinking. All of this is mesmerizing in its awfulness. Paralyzing.

Yet the other day I woke up feeling excited, hopeful even.

Am I finally losing it?

I got up; made coffee; reached out my hand to turn on the news and then stopped myself. I knew what I would see and hear as the TV came on — dark, darker, and darkest. It would quickly overwhelm this small happiness. So instead I sat there drinking my coffee; tuning into my excitement for the new day. Slowly but surely it became a field of energy that filled first me and then the apartment. The morning light seemed to become deeper, richer. I thought to myself— this is hope.

Of course, I had to analyze where this was coming from; my Irish nature was immediately suspicious. Let’s see. September is almost here and I love the Fall— the colors, the autumn light, the brisk breezes, and the hint of melancholy. I could feel myself tuned in to my various projects that seemed to be calling. Soon I will start accompanying someone through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. I have four knitting projects to complete so I can get back to my new love, brioche knitting. This fall I will be attending a seminar series on the Art of Spiritual Direction Supervision. Hopefully, I will get to lead another online class. (The first effort was well-received.) There is also the ongoing work with current clients, the podcast series, and the website to tend. So many books that beckon—studying the works of brilliant people past and present.

More than a to-do list, I realized that each of these projects was a kind of petri dish for hope. Creating something from scratch. Learning a new skill. Connecting with others. Making a difference. Following my path. All of this on a very small scale, true. Miniscule in proportion to the catastrophes all around. Miniscule AND real. Miniscule AND impactful.

What projects are calling you…to hope?