A hope note
First-time visitors to the Grand Canyon spend an average of 15 minutes on the rim.
They have a look, snap a few pictures, hand their camera to a stranger who makes a photograph of them with the canyon in the background, buy some souvenirs, let out one ‘Wow!,’ and leave.
Their mission was to go home and boast, ‘Yeah, we were there, and it was magnificent. Want to see the pictures?’
Some of us, like them, are dabblers. We’re ‘Jack (or Jill) of all trades, master of none.’ We believe life is too complex, too many-splendored, to specialize too much. We’re like the fox in the old Greek saying: ‘The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.’
Some of us are more like the hedgehog. We want to simplify and focus. We may take a day or two riding a mule or hiking down the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River and back. We want to experience the place, not just glimpse it. We aspire, as Thoreau said, to ‘live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.’
I’m more of a hedgehog. There are a couple of areas where I want to major, take the plunge, go the distance.
I collect ‘all things hope.’ I have pillows and candles, figurines and Christmas tree ornaments, greeting cards and stepping stones tattooed with that word. Last year one of our daughters-in-law gave me a bottle of Australian wine named Hope. This past Father’s Day one of our sons gave me a sweatshirt he had ordered from a small college in Michigan emblazoned with four large letters: HOPE.
Someday when hard times come, maybe some of those words and thoughts and images I’ve surrounded myself with will come to mind and help me through.