The Hebrew word for hope, tikvah, evolved from an Akkadian word meaning a single strand of spider silk. Something impossibly thin and practically invisible is the origin of hope. When this strand is woven together with other strands, coiling into something stronger, something we can hold on to, our hope strengthens and supports us.
How interesting that a spider web is a piece of art and beauty, as well as a place of danger and fear, a home and a trap. It is a perfect balance of tautness and looseness that is not meant to last. Perhaps this is where hope is born, in the tension between possibility and despair that is too thin to trust but too powerful to ignore. I think this is the filament that connects soul mates’ hearts, a life-line that is almost sure to break but somehow never does.
At times I struggle with hope, finding that regret or exhaustion darken my world and blur my vision of a potential future, of my ability to expect something wonderful. But hope always finds a way to sneak back into my life. Sometimes it is the sliver of a new moon or the impossible colors of a mountain rainbow. Sometimes it is the warmth of the sun, and sometimes it is the chill of fresh snow. Often it is a trail under my feet or the voice of the ocean as she wraps her waves around my feet. It emerges unexpectedly as I stroke my dog’s fur, or when I help a lost stranger.
Perhaps hope is playing a backward game of hide-and-tempt with me, teasing me with promises of love and faith, other versions of hope, until I laughingly emerge, leaving fear behind. And then, like a spider, I weave my many life-strands together and turn my life into a work of art.