Hope is Contagious

hope changesThe  following poem by Denise Levertov is one of several occasional posts in 2015 focusing on the fact that “hope changes everything.” The poem helps us understand that hope is contagious – as is pessimism. Understanding that fact, 0ur mission as apprentices of Jesus is to choose to pass on hope, not negativity.

For the New Year, 1981

I have a small grain of hope—
one small crystal that gleams
clear colors out of transparency.

I need more.

I break off a fragment
to send you.

Please take
this grain of a grain of hope
so that mine won’t shrink.

Please share your fragment
so that yours will grow.

Only so, by division,
will hope increase,

like a clump of irises, which will cease to flower
unless you distribute
the clustered roots, unlikely source—
clumsy and earth-covered—
of grace.  (From Making Peace)

 If  you have ever had iris plants in your yard, you know how hardy and strong they are. Tiris_195x195hey grow and spread and fill their environment.  But when they become too crowded, it’s time to divide the plant. Few gardeners want to just dump a beautiful growing plant.  So in the spring or fall, they often offer their friends a clump of iris to transplant into their gardens. What if I offered a grain of hope – and grace – to a friend in the same spirit with which I might gift them with a beautiful plant? Then I coulc watch hope spread and multiply as he or she offers a grain to someone else. If we all share fragments of our hope with others, we can fill our environment with hope – not negativity.

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2 Responses to Hope is Contagious

  1. Ruth Evenhouse says:

    Lovely! I have irises at the cottage,and now am eager for spring to see how they bring beauty and hope. Can’t wait to share them!

  2. I am eager for spring, as well. For me it is easier to hopeful when I don’t have to battle 0 degree temperatures and many inches of snow. However, it is during those times when I exercise the muscle of hope more often.

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