Saturday, April 24, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We say it all the time - "There's no place like home."

Home is the pinnacle of comfort and contentment. It's the place that feels the best after a long day at work, the place we are always glad to return to. To slip off your shoes and be in your own personal space surrounded by your own personal things feels so good. It's the place where you most want to relax and enjoy, to spend time with loved ones. The place you most want to be when you're tired, or sick, or just having a bad day. It's making memories, building a life. It's the family that will always welcome you back, no matter how long you've been away.

I am a homebody by nature. These days, I find I am much more inclined to stay in than to go out. Staying home and watching a movie versus going to the movie theater makes good sense economically, but it is also much more comfortable to be home instead of at a crowded place. I do like to get out and get away from it from time to time, but I am always relieved to get home.

The joys and comforts of home are always there, no matter where you live. They are easily transferable. The aromas of your favorite meals cooking, your favorite chair, the laughter of family and friends, the togetherness. Any place where there is love, support and understanding, can be home.

Some of the loved ones have passed on, and the locations have changed a few times over the years, but home will always be where my heart is. The happy memories of each of the places I've called home will always be precious to me. Even if you don't live there anymore, a home always lives on inside you.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Looking for Rays of Hope

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things." - Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption

I love how every once in a while, the landscape looks gray and bleak, and then suddenly, the sun breaks through the clouds, making everything bright and pleasant again. It's like Nature's way of giving us hope. Hope that the storm will pass us by, or be a brief one.

Hope is a pretty powerful thing. In dark times, it sustains us. In so many of the things we do, hope always plays a role. We hope we win the game, or that we get something we really want, or that we made the right choice.

Hope can be tricky, though. Sometimes we may be afraid to be too hopeful, because we don't want to see our hopes dashed when things don't work out. Or maybe something happens that gives us hope, and then things go downhill again. We may start to think a situation is hopeless.

Still, we tell each other not to lose hope, to keep hope alive. Because hope is something that we can always have, if we want it.

There is so much wrong in the world, it is good to know that when we look around, we can find lots of things that can give us hope - seeing people helping each other, the cheerful outlook of children, acts of kindness, achievements. Sometimes you have to grab onto those little glimmers of hope that you see, and hold on tight.

Hope is like a gift that is good for all occasions, for all times. "Hope you have a great day", "Hope you get well soon." And of course, the greatest reward, is having our hopes come to be realized.

Hope is indeed a good thing.