Today marks two months of marriage for Jody and I. It seems appropriate that this week's word is something that has been pivotal in our relationship.
When we met for the second time (the first being several years ago and briefly), I wasn't expecting him to be anything more to me than a great ballroom dance partner. I'd just gotten out of a relationship that had never reached great emotional heights, and went to a casual swing dance, where I was surprised to see Jody. We partnered each other for most of the night--which was unusual for me--and found that we moved really well together. When I asked him, he seemed really interested in taking some ballroom classes with me. And at the end of the night, he walked me outside and wouldn't go home until he saw me safely onto my bus. He said a lady shouldn't wait alone at a bus stop, which made me wonder all the way home.
It appeared that Jody had harboured a hope of dating me since the spring, and a summer of my seeing someone else had only dimmed it a little. He arranged for us to practice dancing at the fabulous Butchart Gardens, and once we were there I couldn't help but suggest we stay and roam around once the dance was over. I hoped the connection I was feeling was more than dance connection.
At the wishing fountain in the Rose Garden (pictured), we discovered that our hopes were not unfounded.
A few weeks went by, and we were entertaining thoughts. Serious thoughts. Yet we both felt unbalanced, insecure in our burgeoning feelings, certain we must be imagining something so suddenly wonderful. But we continued to hope, building our relationship around that light, enveloping feeling that we belonged together. We mentioned hope constantly, trying to hold onto it, as though we were afraid it would slip away.
Eventually we realised that our hope came from a genuine desire to commit ourselves to each other. The hope that we would still be involved with each other next week, next month, next year, became love that was founded in a mutual trust in that initial wisp of emotion. Hope is sometimes seen as a dangerous sentiment, one that can carry us beyond the realistic plans we make for our lives. "Dare I hope?" you might hear someone ask. Hope carries a certain amount of risk. It is only a positive feeling because it lifts us away from believing in a negative alternative.
It's as though it's as weightless as a balloon, this emotion that buoys us and gives us a childlike trust in the unbelievable. And like a balloon, hope is hard to hold onto. It might vanish into the sky at any moment, should you let go. But it is worth holding on. It makes all the difference.
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