Prodigal Hope

image by 4028mdk09, wikimedia commons

image by 4028mdk09, wikimedia commons

We’ve all felt it. The intense gravity of Life’s long, cold winters. The incessant pull of one bad break after another that obliterates the very memory of easy laughter. Awareness condenses to a pinpoint where tomorrows are as meaningless as yesterday’s forgotten smiles, and the entire of existence is no more than the next footstep. Just keep swimming . . . just keep swimming.

And then it happens. A leaf breaks through the frosty soil that we had given up for barren. A wild rabbit grazes in the yard purged years ago by foxes. A child is born. Innocent life that isn’t screwed up yet. And sometimes, that life holds a special promise. A seed of greatness that shows us a light we had given up on as simply not possible.

As parents, we search for that light in the faces of our infants. Are you a Mozart? An Einstein? A Michael Jordan or Kristi Yamaguchi?  We put them in sports and music lessons . . . we even read to them while they are still in the womb. It’s more than wanting our children to be objectively special. It’s wanting to know that somehow, some way, they will have a gift that will carry them through the darkness. A quality that will guarantee their survival when Life lands its inevitable kicks in the gut.

Most of us have children who, for better or worse, prove that the apple truly doesn’t fall far from the tree. But once in a while, just often enough to keep us hoping, it happens. A special talent is born that makes us stop and wonder at the potential of mankind and the undiscovered country that lies between our own ears. Someone who gives us hope for our entire species. Ryan Wang is one of those children. He is five.

All the best to all of you for a week of prodigal hope. We’ll see you back here in April.

Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes