384: “Hopefully, Ever After” (Roshani Chokshi)

                “The king and queen did not live happily, but hopefully, ever after. Which, in my opinion, is a far better compass by which to guide your life.” 
                -the witch in Once More Upon A Time, by Roshani Chokshi

                A friend told me once that it’s important to have something you’re looking forward to. The weekend, and some ice cream on the couch. Thursday night, and board games with friends. Camping over the summer. And when they told me that I thought, yes, that’s true. So I tried to make plans and ‘give’ myself something to look forward to.
                When I first read Chokshi’s book, I thought, well, what about hoping for what is? Hope for winter’s hush, and the snow gathering outside. Hope for spring, and thin shoots sprouting up where the snow melts. Hope for the rich dark that’s outside my window. And I like that, as a kind of guiding idea. A compass, Chokshi said.
                But what if the hopefully isn’t about the thing happening, but about the thing as it already is? Walking today with Chokshi in my mind, I tapped my knuckles on a big granite boulder outside the library and suddenly had the thought, there’s hope in that. Not “the boulder will be there tomorrow, hopefully,” not something reaching forward in time, but there is hope in this rock the same way there’s quartz and feldspar. Hopeful is what it is. It’s full of hope like a lake is full of water. I’m still not sure what that might mean, but for a moment it was like the wise witch had tapped my shoulder.

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