Hope Springs

As I write this I keep glancing out my window–waiting on the snowpocalypse that’s supposedly coming our way. Weather kind of makes me laugh. It’s this inevitable topic–it’s always affecting us. Sometimes we talk about it cause it’s THE thing that’s happening. Other times we bring it up cause we can’t think of anything else to say.

This winter has been long and hard. So far it shows no signs of stopping. People keep saying, “Spring is coming.” Actually I’m included in those people–I’ve been saying that. But one bone-chilling day after another does challenge one’s optimism. I’ve longed so hard for this change of season. I need the sun and the warmth. And also, I think–the hope.

We’ve been in the thick of March Madness over here at the Bradley household. On Saturday night, our team, Michigan, had 3.6 seconds left on the clock with the ball, and was down by two points. I already had tears in my eyes looking at our seniors on the bench–agonizing over the realization that this was probably their last game. (Yeah tears are shed in our house on the reg over sports, and Top Chef–you got a problem with that?) My hubs saw my tears, got right up in my face and declared, “There is still HOPE, it’s ain’t over, there is still hope.” I looked right back up at him and whined, “No! Hope hurts too much, no more hope!”

About 30 seconds later Michigan inbounded the ball to our Senior leader and best player. He quickly dribbled up the court, drew the double team, and passed it off to a Freshman standing in the corner. Catch. Release. Three-Pointer. Swish. We win the game and are moving on to the Sweet Sixteen.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had sad blubbering flip to such ecstatic happy tears in an instant like that. If you’re not into sports you might read this and think, “Seriously, why do people care about sports so much?” If you are into sports–you get it. I had a real moment–the type I’ve been trying to collect and really be present in and feel lately upon the realization that life is terribly short. I called my Dad, he just kept repeating over and over “Can you believe that!?” I kept saying other things and still all he had was, “Can you believe that?!” I texted with my brothers, my sister, my mom. My whole family had all this incredible emotion over this team and this sport that we have collectively been watching my entire life. It was awesome.

I keep thinking about my response to my husband when he told me there was still hope. I think it’s true–hope can hurt. There are moments in life where I consider trying to live as a pessimist–or a “realist”, if you prefer. I’ve struggled with this since I was little–I don’t want to hope too hard, or have faith, or believe too much. Instead I want to cradle myself in doubt to soften the blow of inevitable failure and disappointment.

This past week I’ve been bringing up possible careers to my hubs–things I might do in lieu of trying to be a writer. Hope can feel heavier than doubt. 

I have faith that spring is coming–but then the cold breeze whips against my skin day after day.

I believe at the 5:00 minute mark that my team can pull through, but then they’re down with 3 seconds left.

I work for months and then years on a project–knowing how long it could take to turn into something coherent. Knowing the greater chance is that it never amounts to anything.

Hope can feel heavier than doubt. It can feel more difficult to carry and harder to hold on to.

But I’m not a pessimist. I’m not a realist. I’m a dreamer. Michigan’s win the other night reminded me that I can withstand a whole lotta lows–I can wait for the win because no matter how long it takes or how much it hurts, I remain a believer. The work, the heavy, the pain, the struggle–it’s always been worth it. The win, the finish, the Spring–I hope for these things–I believe in the inevitability of them even when I can’t see them.


“It takes courage to trust, that the best is yet to come.”- Unknown



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