February 23, 2016

Dear Hope.


I know you don’t understand why sometimes I hush you and push you behind me.

I know you don’t like to feel left out. I understand why you would sulk or your eyes might tear up when I do this. I want you to know that I do it to protect you.

I know that you would run in the sun all day and smell flowers just because they are there. You would splash in every puddle that you came across. Pet every dog that we encountered as we ventured out into the world. You greet everyone in the same way. Open. Trusting. Honest.

You smile brightly at all those who look your way. Grumpy people. Sad people. Happy people. Busy people.

You look to me for understanding when they don’t smile back. You have that confused look in your eyes, not comprehending why they would not offer the same gift back to you. That simple smile. I can see the hurt in your eyes when you feel this rejection.

Not everyone understands your flighty, fantastical ways. Not everyone appreciates your whimsical play. They don’t see the wonder and awe you see in a butterfly as it takes flight. They don’t see the pictures in the clouds that you so easily pick out. They wouldn’t take the time to pull over on the side of the road to watch for just a couple minutes as the sun sets for yet another day, washing the sky with pink, purple and orange hues.

There are people out there who will say mean and hurtful things. There are people out there who feel threatened by you. They are frightened by your strong voice. They are frightened by your ability to shine in a world of darkness. They are perplexed at your ability to laugh at the smallest and silliest of things. They don’t understand how you could be the way you are without fear. So they lash out. I will be the one to accept those stones they throw. I will shelter you so that you don’t feel the sharp pains of the words hurling up against your skin. I will protect you.

You are such a funny, witty, charming and caring being. So childlike in your qualities. Wondering and in awe of all around you. You are naïve in your thinking though—not everyone will like you. They will judge the complete package on who you are alone. They don’t understand that you are a part of the bigger picture. They can’t accept that some things are not meant to be taken at face value or that there are layers upon layers just waiting to be seen. Layers that are to be opened slowly, like a treasured gift.

So I protect you. Because you are so important to me. You are the brightness that shines in our eyes. You are the smile that grins effortlessly on our lips. You are the asker of the question why, wanting to understand better. You are the heart of us. The soul that radiates from our chest. The gifts you offer of yourself are pure and simple. But you are soft, and I am afraid if I don’t hide you from the cruel words and actions of some, you will lose that innocence and that a part of me will be lost with that.

So please don’t be sad when I push you behind me. I love you too much to expose you to the darkness that I can’t bear for you to be a part of. I am afraid that darkness would turn you into something we are not. So I hide you. Protect you. Love you. Because you are the wisher upon the falling stars. The blower of the dandelion fluff. The yeller of excitement at the freedom of a slide. The giggler of a silly joke.

You are my hope.

I am nothing without you.


Author: Debbi Serafinchon

Editor: Caitlin Oriel

Image: Zara Walker/Unsplash

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