Tuesday, December 18, 2007

hope...the thing with wings

Tess sat down and composed a letter last night, from time to time barking out questions like "How do you spell North Pole?"
Then she addressed an envelope, folded the letter inside, put on her winter hat and coat, and went out to the mailbox and posted it. It was all done in a very businesslike way, her self-satisfied look, suggesting to me that this is not really a faith-based initiative which connotes an inner fervor wrestling perpetually with doubt; rather, it it seemed more like an act of hope, one nourished by the memory of past good things and thus focused on the future with the expectation of more good things to come.
The laboratory chimp that pulls a certain level in the expectation of reward does so not by faith in man or God or Santa Claus but in the perfectly reasonable expectation that history will repeat itself. Tess has no reason yet to question the underpinnings of her assumptions about the goodness or the fruitfulness of the world she inhabits. I have no eagerness for her learn otherwise though I know that all hope is tempered by experience. This time is so benign.


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