Hope Springs

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We had an old well in my childhood home
My mother nicknamed it “Hope Springs”
And when she’d pull up the water, she’d smile and say
“Drink up. Everyone could use a drop of hope.”

I remember the water from Hope Springs
It tasted different than other water
It was cooler somehow
Smoother somehow
It slid down your throat and down to your belly and seemed to warm you from the inside
A tingly feeling that rippled from your head to your fingertips to your toes
If I was ever scared or anxious or sad or just unsure of myself
I would drink from the well
And it seemed to make everything just a little bit better
I believed it was magic
That it could cure almost anything

Standing here, outside the house, ten years later,
I know better than to believe in magic water
When you’ve been through a war it feels as if all magic has been drained from the world
What I had experienced – what I had seen – could not be cured

My house used to be a beautiful cottage
Flowers blooming in the front yard
Clean white walls
With a smart blue trim on the windows
Now it is black and grey
Charred and broken in bits from bombs
Most of it no longer stands
But instead lays crumbled on the ground
As sad and damaged as the rest of us
A piece of glass from the window lays before my feet on the dead grass
I can just barely make out the blue trim underneath the jet black charring

Everything has changed now
Nothing is the same

The only thing that still stands is Hope Springs
I don’t know how she did it
How she stood so tall and strong
She was already a very old well
She had been on the property long before us
I’d thought she might be the first to pass
But there she was
Cracked a little maybe
And dusty
But still herself
I walked over to her longingly
Lowered the rope with the bucket down into the water
And pulled it back up
The same way my mother used to
I expected the water to be dirty but it was crystal clear

For old time’s sake
I took a sip of the water

It went down like silk
And warmed my belly
I felt a tingling run through my body
And then I felt a most peculiar thing
I felt a weight lift off of me
One that I had been carrying for a long, long, time
I hadn’t realized how heavy it was until it was gone
It was like giant boulders had been lifted from my back, my heart, my stomach, and my mind
And for the first time in nearly a decade, I felt like everything might just be okay after all
Like there was a chance for the human race
And for me
I felt something resembling peace
The water’s magic, it seemed, had gone unharmed

A familiar thought came to me
A phrase I hadn’t heard in years
And I smiled
Eyes tearing
Because I could hear her voice in my head saying
“Drink up. Everyone could use a drop of hope.”

– Lucy Schwartz

Note: I do not own the photograph included in this post, but I always try to link photos to their original source (when I can find it). If you want to find out more about the beautiful image & the photographer you can click on the image.

3/4 Through The War

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We live in quiet hope
That fear will not rule our hearts
That love will endure
That peace will overcome
That war will end
So that softly and with that same quiet hope
We may start again

-Lucy Schwartz
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Note: I do not own the photographs included in this post, but I always try to link the photographs to their original source (when I can find it). If you want to find out more about the beautiful images & the photographers you can click on the images.