Hope: Growing from gratitude.

teaching learning tour w photos08-keynote.053There is a powerful need for people to feel that gust of hope rise up again.–Cat Stevens

I can hear the music in my head,  “…ride on the Peace Train!”  Stevens, now known as Yusuf, a proudly practicing Muslim,  wrote his song so people would not forget the joy and power of unity in hope.

As I sit in my writing chair, I hear the birds of my Maui home.  Yes, there are feral chickens kicking up the ground and sending their common squalks in disharmony with the orchestration of other, more appreciated fowl, but the doves lend a consistent background that permeate the morning.  Soon the hens and babes will tire of our street and move on.

Out my window, a young child holds the hose as he waters new plants, one of his “before school” helping tasks around home.  The year has brought him a new sibling, and he is now big brother to two.   There is joy in his play and also the knowledge of joy in a job well done. He wears it all well, even at 6.

The ceiling fans spin in joint effort to cool my home, assisting the morning breezes. A deep sense of calm sets in as I sit here. Gratitude is palpable for me here in Maui.  For now it is a place of refuge.  No responsibilities call, only choices.  And Gratitude lends its space to Hope.

This very moment was a dream in a past part of my life, a life with kids screaming, alarms ringing, family illness and conflict, and too many agendas squeezed into each day.  Yet within the harsher din of my former reality, a joyous hum kept me going:  my children’s smiles, the image of schools that served children and adults well,  my husband’s hand on my shoulder as he pulled me toward him.

Hope, gratitude, and …dreams.  Those are the stuff of which peace is made.


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