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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Finding Hope

I’m near the end of Home to Harmony. I just read a chapter in which Deena Morrison, a single woman whom one resident of Harmony describes as “very… womanly,” has just decided to move to Harmony from “the city.” She’d spent time there with her grandparents when she was a little girl and she wanted to get back to a simpler life. And she has hopes of finding a husband to share her new life in Harmony.

After starting a legal practice, she decides that she’d rather start a new coffee shop—one that is cultured, complete with poetry reading. So, she does just that. She calls it “Legal Grounds” and it’s a big hit right away—especially with a man named Wayne. His wife had run off and left him and his kids and he’s smitten with Deena.

Here’s a little taste:

“Wayne sits there amid the civility and for a moment, while gazing at Deena, is transported beyond his tired trailer and broken life. He wonders what it would be like to marry Deena. She’d be such a fine mother to my children, he thinks. He imagines she is drawn to him. When he walks to the counter to pay for the coffee, she waves him away with a small brush of her hand. She smiles, he smiles. Such a decent woman, he thinks.” Then a few paragraphs later, “Love even love that is imagined, is sometimes all we have to get us through.”

I’m a lot like Wayne. I dream about marriage. In fact, I always have this odd sense of possibility as I head out the door on Saturday nights. I don’t do anything spectacular. I just like to hang out with friends in coffee shops or baseball parks or in movie theaters. But I am always conscious of the fact that by simply living my life, my dream of finding a wife and “settling down” could be realized. And for me, that’s often enough to get me from one Saturday night to the next night.

Sometimes we find hope in the smallest of things. It happens to me all the time. Every time I go to a writer’s conference and talk to an editor about my novel, hope is present. Every time I walk on the tennis court, I hope it will be the day when my game will return to what it once was. Every time I start reading a new book, I hope it will be the type of book that makes me see something about myself that I’ve never seen before.

I love hope. And I love the small packages it often comes in.


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