Some time ago I admired this small fuchsia in a friend’s garden. Her one was a gift from her daughter so it held extra meaning and enjoyment for my friend.
My friend kindly took a cutting from her plant and I have tended it carefully. It surprises me that it has burst into bloom in winter but perhaps all the regular rainfall and milder temperatures of late have ensured the right conditions for flowering.
At the moment the winds have abated so I am able to have the plant, in its pot, near where I can see it with ease. At a time when the rest of the garden is very dormant this delicate show is a real treat.
On Friday afternoon last week our cat Jazz had yet another crisis and I made the sad, but mercy filled decision to have him euthanased. He was 15.5 years old and had been suffering increasingly from arthritis and associated health problems.
Lucy, the vet at our friendly and very caring vet clinic had tried everything to assist him maintain a reasonable quality of life as an indoor, pampered cat but sadly since Easter her efforts and our diligent care was becoming increasingly less effective.
I have returned to the many, many photos we have and they offer a wonderful record of this sociable, outgoing, vigorous, adventurous, friendly, funny cat who survived many escapades, gave us worrying times but who adored us and was a constant source of fun, laughter and love.
Jazz outlived his brother PG by just over two years. We got the kittens in 1999 and they grew to be adults who very happily co-existed.
The following photos tell something of why Jazz is so sorely missed now.
I was reading through some blogs last evening and came across a reference to “Reasonable Hope,” a concept from the work of Kaethe Weingarten. Google helped me learn some more about Kaethe and provided some links to this concept she has developed and which piqued my curiosity.
I followed this link and read about this organisation which had begun to explore and work with these aspects of “reasonable hope”
Reasonable hope can help us build a bridge to creating more authentic hope in our lives even in the midst of challenging circumstances, uncertainty and even despair.
Weingarten identified five characteristics of reasonable hope, which we are understanding and interpreting in the following ways:
Relational. Hope happens between things and in relationships. It is held, shared, communicated, birthed. It shifts and moves, waxes and wanes, as we interact with ourselves, each other and our environment. It can be likened to the African concept of “Ubuntu,” which Archbishop Desmond Tutu described as “being enveloped in the community of other human beings, in being caught up in the bundle of life.” Hope is like this, caught up in bundles of shared experience.
Is something to be practiced. Hope is a verb more than a noun. Rather than an internal feeling we have or we don’t, hope is a quality we can actively cultivate through the choices we make. Hope is an ongoing process, something we practice in the here and now—not something we passively wish for in the future—that makes us more “hope” prone.
Sees the future as open, uncertain, influenceable. An uncertain future creates space for change, growth and transformation. It opens the door to possibilities beyond our current expectations. Hope is a process where “the soul turns toward a light which it does not yet perceive, a light yet to be born,” as is eloquently described by the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel.
Seeks goals and pathways. Reasonable hope is both practical and fluid. It looks for what goals can be accomplished now (and identifies ways to get there) and adjusts as new possibilities and pathways become available.
Accommodates doubt, contradictions and despair. When understood as a dynamic, moment-to-moment practice, hope can be messy and spacious. It can hold the whole of our lives with all of its losses, joys, setbacks and surprises. Instead of closing our eyes and making a wish, we can open our eyes wider and turn toward a light that may not yet be born.
Reasonable hope is only one of many ways we can bring hope into seemingly hopeless situations. A bridge from what is true now to a place where we can dream and hope again.
Hope has been a word on my lips so often lately that this expansion has proved to be both comforting and illuminating to me. Sharing ways to become more “hope prone” is such a positive gift to us all.
It is a public holiday in New Zealand as we commemorate the Queen’s birthday(NZ is a Monarchy with Queen Elizabeth ll of Britain the ruling sovereign).
In a very surprising, but delightful turn of events, the weather all weekend has been crisp and clear with loads of sunshine.
Some random photos of time spent out in the sun and the breeze today: