I drove home this evening in the cloudy, blue-grey twilight.  As I approached my own neighborhood, I caught sight of two flocks of Canada Geese high above the tree line, making their V-shaped way to warmer climes.

Although I was taken aback, it fit.  I was aware of the early darkening sky as I finished up with my last client at 4:30 pm today; the light in our therapy room felt noticeably different.   It wasn’t just because I had dimmed the lights for a boy who came in anxious and unable to concentrate.  I had helped him make a blanket fort and then turned out the lights, allowing him to calm down on his own until he emerged from under the heavy blanket five minutes later, ready to work.  No, it was the outside sky that was darkening early.

These are dark days in most every way, it seems.  American bank failures and bail outs, hurricane after hurricane slamming us, wars around the world, a treasured writer committing suicide over the weekend, a train crash in Los Angeles, rain flooding my own city that left damp spots on our ceiling, and this damnable Presidential campaign in which far too many people are taking a ridiculous pair of candidates seriously.

I have also become aware of one challenge inherent in adding “cyber friends” to the lively and beloved group of friends I’ve made over the years, and this is that, like anyone else, they have their ups and downs.  This is as it should be – they are real people, after all – and yet it means that I am also tuned in to the fact that Mrs. Chicken’s newborn baby has been in the hospital for the past few days, that Slouching Mom is suddenly dealing with yet another major family emergency, that Niksmom is really struggling to get a decent night’s sleep, and that multiple friends are suffering from debilitating migraines these days.  Riding these waves with our friends is simply something that goes with the territory of a strong friendship, and making connections online has brought more wonderful friends into my life than I’d have ever expected.  Somehow it seems as if many of my friends are struggling at the moment, in sync with the rest of the world.  It’s a lot to carry.

But as the night comes early and the geese are on their way out, I do what I can to bring light, laughter, and stability to my family for a couple hours and I think about these friends I have – from coast to coast, overseas, right next door, with some accessible to me instantaneously in seemingly futuristic ways – and my sadness is gradually replaced with gratitude.  Yes, gratitude: because I know that just as I watch over our world from where I stand here in the middle of America, keeping company with fears at once both enormous and minute, so do they.

So do they.

This fills me with hope.


10 responses to “Hope.

  1. Thank you for this, Jordan. You expressed the comfort and hope so eloquently. And it’s nice to know, too, that there are people like you (and so many of our mutual cyber-friends) who care about what we each struggle with and who are there to cheer us on and share our joys, too.

    I always know that there is a bright light shining on the WonderWheel and your Wonder Family. xoxo

  2. You made me cry with this one, Jordan. In that same article from the NY Times (the one about Twitter) they discuss how increasing your virtual friendships can be both draining and exhilarating. Sometimes it does seem overwhelming, all the terrible things that people have to endure, and yet, knowing that you have people all over the country to cheer you up and ride along with you is such comfort. It is odd that we know so much about each others lives when my next door neighbor knows so little.

    Your kind words are always appreciated and have brightened my day numerous times.

  3. And if the rest of the country adopts this attitude – of hope, gratitude, and joy – we stand a chance at -er- MOVING ON.

    Go Jordan. Go Blue Team.

  4. Here is a link to the article in the NYT Magazine that Lori cited. It’s really fascinating – if you are on Facebook or Twitter, check it out: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/magazine/07awareness-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&partner=rssyahoo&emc=rss

    I’ve been wanting to write about my experience with Twitter one of these days, and perhaps I will, but for now I think it’s all in this article.

    Thanks, Lori!

  5. Interesting article! I’m in the crowd who is on Facebook, but doesn’t really ‘get’ it. Also trying to sit and think what my Dunbar number would be! Or what kind of crazy Venn diagram would represent my online presence! Always food for thought here. Lovely post!

  6. Beautiful, Jordan. So grateful for you out there, being you, raising your kids, helping others, holding down the fort. We’re here when you need us too 🙂

  7. Yes, HeatherK, our Venn Diagrams would look like nothing less than Spiro-graphs. My mornings are spent more on Twitter than email at this point, something The Husband just doesn’t get.

    Thank you, Jordan, for being the best cyber and IRL friend a person could have. And try not to worry, okay?

  8. Kia (Good Enough Mama)

    This is beautifully written. I could have written something similar myself today as I sit here, so grateful that things (for once?!) have gone right. I feel a wonderful gratitude for my cyber family/friends, who have been praying for me and my son and continually asking via email or blog comments how things are going. It’s wonderful and good, despite all of the bad that is happening around us.

    Thanks for putting into words what i only wish I could!


  9. You know I feel the same strong connection to you. Before we depart these parts of the Middle West, I will see you and meet you face to face, this I promise.

    Thank you so much for your support during this past weekend.


  10. Yes, gratitude is important and vital.
    Life is good, complicated, but good.

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