…and out of the darkness comes hope

The tales of emerging from darkness can be found in many places. The Bible certainly has them. Stephenie Meyer‘s whole Twilight saga had the emergence into light as an underlying theme. It never fails that when you’re in the middle of a particularly dark patch, it seems like the light will never come. We weak, unbelieving, beautifully frail humans never learn, do we?

This week started with my family’s celebration of St. Nicholas Day. My mom said it was a tradition she learned during her time in the convent with Irish nuns. I’m not certain how the tradition came to be passed down, but I believe it has a Scandinavian origin. How it found its way into my life… I’m not certain of much, but I know that it brings hope amidst the chaos of the season. This is how it works (at least in my family):

On the evening of December 5, everyone puts a shoe outside their bedroom door. In that show is their letter to Santa Claus, asking for what they would like for Christmas. St. Nicholas comes during the night, gathers the lists for delivery to Santa, and leaves presents if you have been good, coal if you have not. It heralds the opening of the Christmas season for my family since my childhood. It offers a hope that you might get your wishes and gives proof of the year’s efforts at good behavior (I’ve never once received coal).

My children went to bed on the night of the fifth, brimming with hope that St. Nicholas would be by. He came, and the peals of joy were some of the first sounds of the morning. Hope was once again alive and pulsed through the house.

Later this week, I received the hard copies of a contract for my signature. I have been working for a few years on an accounting textbook with a good friend, and we have struggled with writing, working, dealing with family and personal issues, and have remained friends through it all. On Thursday, the day we have been hoping for arrived with the contract. Now, we have the top educational publisher working with us to take our ideas to the world. It was a heady moment as I signed my name and prepared the documents for shipment to my friend, who lives in Alaska.

And the hope in the house continued to grow.

Saturday afternoon, I received a call from a recruiter about a job that I really want and for which I would be a perfect fit. This is the same job that I traveled two hours to visit a friend last Sunday so she could see the need in my eyes and hear the unspoken longing in my voice, as she was the one who recommended me for the position. I have a job interview tomorrow at noon. It seems that they had searched a long time for…me, I think. What they need is precisely what I am. Now I just need to convey that via telephone tomorrow.

What touched me was how my older daughter had told me about 20 minutes before the call that she had a good feeling that something was going to happen. This daughter is not usually my psychic one, so I was a little skeptical about her assertion and we snuggled to watch a movie together. Much later in the evening, I found a note under my pillow from her, in which she had drawn a glorious sunrise. I have that picture next to my bed right now.

The hope grows brighter.

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