It was nearly dead when I found it. Dried and puny, it seemed almost insignificant. I was determined and therefore hopeful, if a bit misguided.
Most life starts out this way, insignificant and perhaps fragile, yet persistent. There seems to be a lot of useless emotion surrounding it, like hoping and yearning, or needing and wanting. Yet, it is always there anyway, life that is. Whether we like it or not, life persists despite our hopes.
In my fit of hope, I set about loving this dying thing. I soaked it in nourishing liquid, and carefully prepared a place for it, filled with all the things I thought it might need, food for both now and later and lots and lots of comfort. I worried about whether it was too hot, too cold, too humid, too dark, or too light. It was probably all those things, and just right or not just right enough, but I visited and continued to hope for the very life I was sure existed somewhere inside it. Of this part, I could be sure.
Every day, I would address this life with the will of a thousand unbroke stallions, and every day there would be no response.
As often is the way of things like hope, it falters, or as in my case, it moves on. I still visited and tended, but not with the same early energy. New life would catch my eye, and as experience goes, I seemed tethered to the now of it all. There was a bumper crop of blackberries, and white eyed flowers on pole beans that were demanding a pole. There was the protection of the young rosemary bush from the careless mower, the shooing away of insects, the unsuccessful attempt to start a patch of wildflowers, and other endeavors to prune, primp and preen.
After many days and nights of relentless rain, and intermittent attempts to stave off foul root rot, aphid attacks on fennel, and other unforeseen hazards; I took time to visit my old friend. I was a new child, wide eyed with wonder. There, before me were beautiful green leaves attached to the dying twig I had planted six weeks prior, and in the spring!
This life never needed the ideas behind my hope, but it thrived in kindness and compassion. The universe had plans outside of my hope. Perhaps even conditional hope is useful at the fragile beginning. It naturally makes way for proper care and attention. However, if life is to truly thrive, this must be the hope of love, the one that hopes for all things or whatever it is that is to be, as this is the nature of all things.
Next summer perhaps, there might even be blueberries!