American poet Emily Dickinson said, 'Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.'
I like this image of hope as a bird perched inside, singing non-stop, even through the darkest nights of the soul.
The progress of the virus has certainly given us some bleak days. We feel for the people who are so ill in hospital and mourn those who have died. The news we receive from other parts of the world is far worse and challenges one's concept and belief in hope.
Every morning a bird sings outside my window - more than one actually - they're a constant presence in the trees and garden. What would the world be like if their songs were silenced? So many songs, each unique, individual, celebrating the promise of a new day. Really Jane? Come on ... the birds are just getting cranked up for their daily activities, feeding and hanging out. They aren't celebrating anything.
But we are.
Yesterday our Prime Minister indicated we had turned a corner which was a very hopeful thing to say. The end of level four may be in sight and of course, the tunnel and light thing sprang to mind because it is a good way to describe it, traveling through the blackness of a tunnel and then there's the gradual lightening, a dim, barely perceptible grey that brightens as we draw nearer and closer.
I feel that's where we are now here in New Zealand - there's some brightness, some hope that we will soon come out of our isolation tunnels. Our spirits are lifting, just a little.
Yesterday when Pam and I set out for our daily walk, the lady I wrote about in an earlier journal entry - the one who has kept very much to herself with curtains drawn - was standing out in her driveway. As we passed by, Pam said, 'Would you like to join us?' There was no immediate reply but then she stubbed out her cigarette and said, 'Yeah, OK' and she walked with us (each of us keeping our distance, just so you know!). When we parted company with her, I said that we usually walk at the same time each day and if she wanted to come, just to be out in her driveway at that time and we'd collect her.
'You are nice people,' she said. 'I would like to walk with you. It'll give me something to look forward to in my day.'
A light at the end of the tunnel.