If I pick up some bits and pieces of life in Africa – stones, a leaf, a seedpod – and string them on a thread of hope, perhaps I can loop it around my soul to hold it up – strengthen it.
There is beauty among the rubble, laughter amidst the sadness. Bare-bottomed children playing in their plastic basins filled with water do not know they are living in poverty. They only know the water is cool, and splashing is fun. Mums cooking something – anything - in tiny pots positioned over charcoal, still offer thanks with bowed heads and folded hands.
Faces worn hard by the whips and lashes of life appear mean, filled with anger, until the salve of smiles smooths out the scars and lights the eyes.
How do they accept the hand dealt and not curse the dealer? Gratitude – for a meal, shoes, clean water, although many must walk miles to get it. Thankful that their children will live to see another sunrise.
Life is after all a circle that holds small gifts: sunsets, births, thanksgiving, – like a cord strung with hope, ideas, leaves and stones. I must strengthen the knot, lest I lose it all and by necessity must begin again.