The blue bowl sat on a small table under the mail slot. This was when the neighborhood mailman walked a route and delivered to each and every house. Hopefully, there would be a card or a paper treat of some sort. There were never pieces of “junk mail.” No – the incoming mail was definitely important.
At holidays, the blue bowl would fill to overflowing with cards and invitations. The bowl would become a purveyor of love and good wishes. It was not unlike a friend, one you could talk with, laugh with, and cry with. When my mother passed away, many years later than my father, my sister and I held an estate sale. All I wanted was the blue bowl.
I have at times found a friend who seemed to me to be a version of the blue bowl. That friend was one who welcomed me warmly, loved me unconditionally, and was always there. I have always been so careful with the blue bowl. I have tried to be that careful with friends, and yet sometimes they slip through a person’s hands. Whereas the bowl is glass and obviously, if in careless hands, breakable – so also are friendships. It is equally difficult to mend a friendship. The blue glass bowl would not be the same with a repair. Neither I have found are friendships.
Once broken, a friendship bares a scar, always present. So, it has been said that one can never repair a broken friendship. But then there is hope. Hope can be many things and can take many forms. Hope is a strong commodity – like “rubber cement.” Hope, unlike glue, can remain invisible. Hope is strong and at its least ever lingering. Hope is a lovely thing, though it may be born of sadness. When we talk of hope we use words such as immense and indelible as if it is written on our flesh.
Do we ever give up hope? Some say, yes, we do. Others say no – once hopeful, always hopeful. It is not analytical – this hope we cling to – rather born of the heart, it is a rainbow everlasting. It is a way to lift ourselves up. It a reason to continue. It is a reason to notice nature, beauty, music, love. It is often the reason not to quit either a job, a relationship, or a way of life.
Hope is defined as “to cherish a desire with anticipation.” We must hope, I believe, in order to live. We must also hope in order to be able to give of ourselves to others. Like the blue bowl, awaiting the mail every day, our hearts await and hold onto hope.