The last mail swap I organized was a a little bit more serious than usual. The theme I picked was HOPE. And it was because at that specific point in time I was very much burdened by many dark and dreary things happening around me — to people I know, in our community, our city, the country, the world. I felt like, in some way, I had to do something to keep the light burning and not give in to sadness and hopelessness. So I thought maybe exchanging words and images of hope and life can be a simple yet good way to do that. I’m glad many expressed interest and really embraced the message.
Those who signed up for the swap were asked to send art and/or words that give a positive and encouraging message, whether it’s their own or something they picked up from a book, film or song. The only real goal was to be a source of hope.
And it was great! Each time I got one from the mail, I also got a fresh new boost to conquer another day, another week! Let me share with you just some of the messages that really stood out to me…
“…But I have to believe in hope and love and humanity. I have to believe that our best days are ahead of us not behind us. I have to believe that THIS isn’t everything we are. Let’s NOT give up on each other!”
“I believe that a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.”
“I find hope in people. I think the world can only be made better by the people who live in it. We need to be more kind, loving and understanding because by doing so, we can all play our part in making the world a better place…”
“Remember that at any given moment, there are a thousand things you can love.”
“There are 4 things in life that will change you — love, music, art and loss. The first 3 will keep you wild and full of passion. May you allow the last to make you brave.”
There’s more but some are just a little too personal to share. I can definitely say, though, that they are all beautiful. I am very grateful to all those who joined and put their whole hearts into this little mail swap. Your letters meant a lot to me. I do hope all of you were also built up by what you received from your mailboxes.
AS FRESH AS THE MORNING
What I sent out were ink prints inspired by a verse from what I’m pretty sure is, ironically, the most depressing book in the Bible — Lamentations. And it goes:
“Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have and so in Him I put my hope.” (Lamentations 3:21-24)
The piece I carved (out of rubber sole) was anchored on the words “Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise…” because it is relevant to everyone. Life is a pattern of days and nights. For just a moment we are enveloped by darkness then in time, light returns and illuminates all.
Every morning we wake up and out of sleep to face a brand new day and make a brand new start. And that’s the message I wanted to deliver — that no matter how dark or dreary the previous night was, hope can and will come to us like the rising of the blazing sun.
The swap has ended but the need to be hopeful is for always. May we never lose faith in ourselves, in others and in the world. May we never miss an opportunity to be a source of strength to another.