A Dove and an Anchor
After announcing the topic for this Advent series, I was asked: “How can a miracle be an everyday thing? Sounds like a contradiction in terms!” I think the answer lies in one’s expectation of living. If you are expecting misery, then you will not see the miracles that are present in your life each day. If you are more of an optimist, then you will appreciate a sudden smile, a parking spot by the front door, or even an unexpected revenue source. These may not seem like miracles but at the right time, they just might be.
Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. It is said that life is ten percent of what actually occurs and ninety percent of how we react. Many life coaches and therapists encourage people to act, not react. Hope is an integral part of experiencing everyday miracles. Bill Keane once said that “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, which is why we call it the present.”
Doves and anchors are both symbols for hope and we are discussing hope because if you do not have hope, you will never experience an everyday miracle. You will simply conclude that a wonderful unexpected phenomenon has occurred and miss out on the joy of it all.
In his book “The Alchemist”, Paulo Coelho wrote “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” This also speaks to the importance of being an optimist if you want to experience a miracle.
The dove was supposedly sent out to find if the waters had receded in the Biblical flood mythology of Noah and his ark. The dove went out several times but finally returned with a branch from a tree. This may not seem like much of a miracle but the tree would not have been reachable to the dove if it was underwater. After forty days and forty nights of seeing nothing but flood waters, the sight of something else had to seem like an everyday miracle.
Anchors are also used to denote hope because they are a symbol of steadfastness and faith. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die… Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” Langston Hughes was not a man who lived a life of privilege. Born in 1902 in Joplin, Missouri, he died less than three years after his right to vote in all fifty states was insured by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He knew the importance of having faith and dreams, in believing in one’s self and in having hope. AN acclaimed writer in various genres and social activist, Langston Hughes accomplished everyday miracles through his words and actions by sending out his beliefs and staying true to them.
As always I think my readers and followers for their comments. It is an everyday miracle to me that you do read my writing. I think, though, that everyday miracles are not an oxymoron but the consequence of a life lived in hope with faith. When we open our hearts our eyes become able to see the unexpected joy that we encounter. Children live this every day and find joy in each moment. Children’s author Shel Silverstein explained it this way: “Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”