By Samantha McKenzie
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” Emily Dickinson
I hope because as a little girl, I watched my entire family hope as they moved to America from a foreign land. I knew back then, and even more so now, that those hopes were entangled in their individual prayers and a collective desire for a better tomorrow. I hope because I gave birth to children in a world filled with uphill battles and endless opportunities and…to stop hoping for their success would be like abandoning the race an inch away from the finish line. I often hope because I am relentless about the things I want to see happen and I am terrible at quitting much of anything. I use it sometimes to stave off the depression and the day-to-day disgust. I use it to renew my soul and allow it to wake me up in the middle of the night and whisper into my ears, gently reinforcing my belief that people are innately good and the universe has a sense of humor and pushing forward, even through adversity, almost always leads to something greater. I hope for all the little girls all over the world. I hope for their mothers and the ones now motherless. For our fathers, boys and young men, I hope that they rise to every occasion and scale obstacles with stunning precision. I hope too, that when we stumble, and we will, someone is there to help us along the way. I still hope because it won’t let me go. I feel it in me, stirring around, yearning to be free, and reminding me how much I need it, just as much as it needs me. And then, I take in a deep breath of air, lungs filled to capacity and carelessly hope some more. I hope because you hope. I hope because I can. And, I hope because I’m free.