"Action is the antidote to despair." – Joan Baez
I met an old friend today and she sounded so tired, so aged, as if fatigued by life. Her eyes were filmed over with the hoary grey of hopelessness and the years had not been kind to her once beautiful face. She was alone, where once she had been partnered; indigent where once she had more money than she could spend; desperate where once she was full of joie-de-vivre and optimistic. It was a sad encounter and brought me face to face with my own increasing age, made me mindful of the vicissitudes of life and brought before me Solon’s wise saying, his advice to King Croesus: “Midena pro tou telous makarize”
(Don’t be hasty to call someone truly fortunate, unless you see how his life has ended).
And yet even in the depths of despair, my friend was able to smile and in her weariness she could find strength to joke… She felt, like me, true joy to see an old friend and catch up. Life had once again surprised us both, as it does…Life is Hope
Even if it be a Winter cold and grey,
If snow be falling –
White, pure, light and gelid cold –
Flake on dancing flake…
Somewhere in that snowy shroud
There lie in wait a thousand blooms –
Daffodils, cyclamens, crocuses, anemones,
A promise of the Spring that waits to come.
A storm at sea, if it were to be,
The waves like mountains high –
Rudderless, uncontrolled, whirling and lost –
The ship to be but barely floating…
Somewhere there is a calm seashore,
A harbour safe, waiting by –
Some linger anxiously and pray,
“Surely it will return…” they whisper.
Even if childhood dreams be lost,
If darkness reign for many a year –
Silent, sunless, sickly and sallow –
Solitude is your sole companion…
Look deep inside you a light to find
Like a gentle firefly beaming –
Azure and smiling, eternal, soft,
Hope flutters by.