A woman I have a deep fondness and admiration for, Susan Neibur, posted something this morning that has stayed with me like a strong beam of sunlight after a swim in the cold lake.

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…

– Alfred Lord Tennyson

I certainly had my share of disappointment in the past year, but as the Tennyson quote rings in my ears, I realize that the voice of hope is my own. Any chance of seeing the world in a brighter way is not going to come from the laughter of my children, though that is sweet, or the supportive hand of my husband or unwavering support of my parents. Hope is mine to enjoy or ignore.

When I woke up this morning, the house filled with friends and errant wisps of the previous night’s merrymaking, I saw the mark of good decisions. Every corner shimmered with the energy of laughter and contentment. The sunlight streaming through the windows didn’t illuminate dust, it cast golden pools over vignettes: a board game and grape stems; baby dolls and blankets; dog toys and slippers—joy shared.

Later, after our guests left, we took turns at the gym. It was simple, energy out, more energy in. Naps. Laundry. Lasagna.

Wishing you hope and all the wonder that comes with it.