It’s been a cold and snowy winter in New York. As we quarantined with our immediate families, whether the cold and precipitation was a blessing or a curse is open to debate.
At least when it’s freezing outside, you can blame the weather for your hibernation, instead of the pandemic. At times you felt as though you’d never leave the house again. Recently, we’ve had brief thaws when it was over 60 degrees by midday. I had to run an errand and I did something I do, pretty much never, I left the building during the school day …. I got that feeling of optimism that you get every year on this day when it seems that winter might actually one day come to an end. But, this year it was different, I also began to feel that maybe the pandemic, along with its many restrictions on our lives, might one day come to an end.
This of course is called “hope”.
Emily Dickinson wrote, “Hope is the thing with feathers.”
In a not-so-subtle allusion to the Dickinson poem, a comedian titled one of his books “Without Feathers.”
My lifelong instinct in matters such as these has been to lean more towards the comedian than the poet: Expect the worst, hope for the best. Stated another way, “Persevere, keep your head down and get to the other side.” After all, doesn’t too much hope set us up for disappointment? This doesn’t mean that I’m not positive. I sincerely believe I’m one of the most positive people you’ll meet. Well, the fact is, I hang around a lot of positive people so, I guess it depends on the people you meet. You’re welcome to disagree with me but I do not hold these two ideas to be contradictory. We can guard against the pitfalls of hope and at the same time remain positive.
So with spring upon us, Passover, Easter, whatever you believe, or don’t believe, warmer days, more vaccines, kids returning in-person to schools, that’s what we’re left to figure out. What’s the right amount of Hope? I’ll continue to guard against it, but like many of you, I’m a positive person, and those warmer days keep coming.