Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hope Chest

I have uprooted my life in the last week. I moved house. I am taking on a new chapter, in a new place...anxious to find out how my story weaves itself and inserts me into new and exciting adventures and experiences.

Upon moving, I realised something about my Hope Chest. It has dutifully sat beneath my television for two and a half years, and all the has remained empty. I don't remember emptying it out. The day the movers came to transplant my life from one place to the next...I realised that my Hope Chest would cause them little stress or exertion due to its bare interior and the musty echo of 4 walls and a lid.

My Hope Chest belonged to my grandmother. It still has some old newspapers in the bottom drawer. They are yellow and delicate with age, but I will never part with them. I don't know why she put them there...but my not knowing, doesn't change the fact that she thought they were worth keeping for some reason.

I felt drawn to look at the history of the Hope Chest, and this is one I liked:

"Early hope chests were handmade and often lined with cedar, a fragrant wood that helps preserve fabric. Many fathers built their daughter’s hope chests and spent hours decorating them with artwork, wooden mosaics, and other decorations. The hope chest was then passed on from mother to daughter, becoming a family heirloom".

Funny, that a father carved out Hope for his baby girl. I imagine that labour of love beginning early, so the collecting could start...the hopes, the dreams..the anticipation of things while unseen, were longed for..waited for.

I don't know if my Hope Chest will ever be something I take into a marriage. I don't know if my Hope Chest will be passed onto a daughter. I have long ago let those hopes and dreams find the wind, and scatter far from possibly land somewhere in that place called the future. Perhaps this is why it has remained empty. It hasn't been carefully organized and stacked to protect precious cargo...because I don't fully believe that the collecting will settle into anything traditional and tangible.

So, my Hope Chest is a place in my mind. It's not a box passed's not an's a checklist of sorts, that sets me on a journey to strive for those things that are achievable. I will toss in those things I wish to accomplish, now, later, whenever. Things like filling a passport before it runs out....growing an incredible garden...taking any one of my nieces to their first boy band concert...teaching my nephew how to avoid breaking too many hearts.

My Hope Chest will find its way to one of my nieces one day...perhaps they will find something random in there, and wonder why I found it worth keeping. I hope they honour me by saving it...whether it be a movie stub, a train ticket...a photograph.

And if hope is to be believed in, and expressed...I will strive to model this: don't put it in a box, and let it sit until it *may* become useful...use it...scatter it, broadcast it to the world...and when you hear the broadcast bounce back to you someday... recognize that you sent out the frequency, and remember to also believe in it yourself.

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