Funny true story about me - when I was in high school, my hope chest slammed shut on my head. My head, and it busted my lip. I've wondered if that would make a good book title - you know, for a teen angst kind of memoir. My hope chest is this huge gorgeous handmade chest that Grandpa gave me when I turned 16. Back then I mostly kept memories in it instead of hope. Scrapbooks, old journals, stuff like that. It's weird how long it took me to actually look ahead. The sequel to that imaginary teen memoir, which will also be literal, is There's a Spiderman Band-Aid Stuck to My Hopechest. It's about the days when I looked around at the little boys and the chaos, thinking, "Is this what I was hoping for all that time?"
A friend once gave me a beautiful song by Carolyn Arends about how we're always reaching for the future and the past and, "No matter what we have, we reach for more/We are desperate to discover what is just beyond our grasp/Maybe that's what heaven is for." I love the song. It's so true.
I've written here before about how much I love to look forward to things, to have a long term to-do list, a short term wish list. I don't feel I'm really living unless I'm looking ahead at least a little. And I think it's lovely to imagine that was put in us as part of our understanding that we're only passing through here. But the other thing I get from the song is the reminder that the longing won't ever truly be reached. The message of that to me is that all day, while thinking about my writing career and jobs and such, the thing that mattered most was still just the Spiderman Band-Aids. The bare feet in my header and the boys that belong to them. You know . . . the life I've found.