It is that time of year, all right. I know it is because as I type this, all I really want to do is go home, close the shade and my eyes, and sleep for about a week. This isn’t some sort of seasonal depression or workday malaise, either. Simply put, between when I went to bed last night and when I got up this morning, some sort of sickness invaded my unassuming body. It has me thinking back to whose hands I shook yesterday, and where this not-quite-right condition took root. But honestly there are too many suspects to be sure, and solving the mystery wouldn’t do a thing to halt the cadence of off-rhythm drums in my head.
I’m sick. Maybe just a little sick, but sick nonetheless.
And in that statement alone lies something beyond a simple diagnosis—in that statement is a conditional situation that hinges upon its own temporality: I AM sick. In the here and now, that is my present state of being, but it is not the norm and it is not forever. Only one person knows I feel this way, and she swung by a moment ago to see how things were, and there it was again, a statement loaded with present implication: “Yeah, I’ll be fine . . . if I’m smart today, I’m sure tomorrow will be all right.”
You see, I’m sick now, but sick now isn’t sick always—I cling to the hope of returning to my natural, non-sick state.
And such is hope.
Just as a I hope to get better from today’s little setback, so too do I hope to one day be free from the pain that lurks around every corner. Free from sickness and doubt and fear . . . and just as I feel that my illness is a blip today on the otherwise stable state of my livelihood, so too on the broader scale of eternal existence, the here-and-now of the present life is but a flash. Yes, there are savory moments in said flash, but there are also countless limitations and threats that one longs to be free from. And so I hope . . .
I think we all have a bit of this natural hope to us, otherwise we would have a much graver take on sick days. Most of us grin, bear it, and look forward to waking up and feeling more ourselves on the morrow. It is our hope that allows us this, and, if we really think on it, perhaps we can muster a deeper hope that extends to so much else?