It is very daring to have hope when odds are slim and you’re already fighting bitterness. One of my brave clients shared in a therapy group this week that without hope, she would still be using crack and wouldn’t be surrounded by strong, loving people at the clinic. I want to learn from her, someone who has lived in a Hell I’ll probably never know. I will have faith today, I will be grateful, and I will honor this beautiful chance at life by giving it hope. 


Every morning

the world

is created.

Under the orange

sticks of the sun

the heaped

ashes of the night

turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches –

and the ponds appear

like black cloth

on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.

If it is your nature

to be happy

you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination

alighting everywhere.

And if your spirit

carries within it

the thorn

that is heavier than lead –

if it’s all you can do

to keep on trudging –

there is still

somewhere deep within you

a beast shouting that the earth

is exactly what it wanted –

each pond with its blazing lilies

is a prayer heard and answered


every morning,

whether or not

you have ever dared to be happy,

whether or not

you have ever dared to pray.

~ Mary Oliver