I've been doing Blogblast for Peace for nine years and this was the first time I felt like quitting. Why? Because I felt a complete lack of hope. Let's face it, 2017 has been a year of stark revelations. Our climate is going crazy with fires and floods, our media is full of stories of abuse, lies and corruption and too many of our world leaders have turned into petulant toddlers.
But then the most unlikely event brought me back - a complete lack of hope.
You see, one of my dearest blog and internet friends died this Nov 1st. "Tint" had been fighting cancer for several years and I do mean fighting quite literally. This was an epic battle, but Tint was never a quitter, no matter what life threw at her. I haven't one single memory of her acting negative or defeated. She tackled every setback with cheerful determination. Tint had a rainbow aura, full of joy, humour and kick-ass hope. I've never seen a photo of her where she isn't smiling or laughing.
I've spent this past week in a chat room vigils with Tint's friends and loved ones, all of us waiting and waiting.... We were gathered together by Tint's daughter and we have stayed there in love and support, but in the full knowledge that there was no hope of a last minute miracle.
Now I'm sitting here writing this and thinking.... It seems to me that all of us who want Peace and a better world have been just the same, constantly setting out with cheery optimism and hope that change is possible. But what do we do when there is no hope? What do we do when a war is inevitable, violence explodes around us and the world staggers towards hate and fear? What do we do when we lose hope?
I think I know. When you lose hope... you find Grace.
Hope is wonderful, there's no denying, but it can also be a burden. It implies that failing is bad or wrong; that we didn't try hard enough. Truth is that sometimes we can try as hard as possible and still fail. So here's the thing, dear Peace bloggers and world-changers. We may never stop war entirely. We may never see humanity reach a stage where there aren't some still capable of violence and destruction. We may never save every species from extinction or save every child from trauma and tragedy.
The loss of hope does not automatically mean failure. Tint's death has shown me that. Her life was a rip-roaring adventure, full of unexpected twists. She lived it to the full and left a legacy of friends all over the world whose lives are changed for the better for knowing her. And she leaves behind a daughter who is one of the most lovely young women I have ever been honoured to know and a new baby grandchild who shows every sign of growing up to be as wonderful as his mother and grand-mum.
When Hope leaves... love remains.
Love doesn't bring about miracles, it is the miracle. Nothing is stronger than Love. The greatest gift we have is this connection to each other. The love found in friendship is a miracle we often take for granted. I have spent this past week in vigil for my friend Tint with the most amazing bunch of men and women. I am now asking you all to join me and hold vigil for our planet. Do we have hope? I don't know... and maybe I no longer care. We have each other and we have love. That is enough.
For you, Tint, see? pink hair! <3