Breathing deeply from a long brisk walk, I sit to write this.
On a very cool October day, the one before I turn 67, a young boy of about twelve approaches me on the path. He’s a handsome kid, with red red hair and freckles, and has no qualms about making eye contact. He smiles, begins to run. I smile back, and I fancy I see the future in his eyes.
Oddly, what’s been brought to mind is the memory of a curious painting. I do not know the artist or title, but it is of a mother embracing her young son, who has a discouraged expression, but, at the same time, one of hope. She gestures up and away, with an earnest and joyful smile. The two follow with their eyes, and the boy seems to understand that his mother is trying to show him a brighter future, and telling him not to be sad. I do wish I had it to show you.
Older and more cynical now, “connected” with the immediacy of the horrors happening around us, listening perhaps too much to the prophets of doom (lest I become one myself), I struggle to find the extraordinary, the promising, the angelic, and the kind.
I want to, and it is there. I know.
In the face of the red haired boy.
In the soulful eyes of a 3 year old girl, who spoke to me so much like an old soul that my heart skipped.
In the charity of some that I meet, the fleeting faces with clear and present eyes,
and in the brave hearts of those who are actively opposing, at their own risk, the specter of rising authoritarianism.
These cannot be extinguished and must, one day in the future, prevail.
picture credit: https://storify.com/ProfKarim/envisioning-the-future-university