When my children were small, my favorite story to read them was a selection from Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad All Year called “The Corner”. In this story, Frog tells Toad about longing for spring to come on a cold, dreary day and looking around every corner only to find his hopes dashed, until he came across his mother and father planting seedlings in the garden. We would then delight in going on chilly walks, looking for emerging signs of spring, like a tiny crocus, bud on a tree, or even a lone red-breasted robin. “It’s a sign! Another sign!” We would exclaim! And yet, there would often be the inevitable spring snowfall, burying those carefully curated signs under a thin blanket of white. I remember driving through the park photographing bright yellow forsythia encased in ice. Hope stood still. It seemed we had not yet turned the corner.
These latter stages of the pandemic have felt a lot like those last gasps of winter. We’d finally gained approval to launch our long awaited parents group at two local elementary schools, and then the COVID numbers spiked causing our site to postpone for two more months. We’d just started seeing all our counseling rooms filled, when omicron forced many clients to cautiously revert to tele-health sessions. I see it! No . . . wait. Almost.
Hope can feel dangerous to some of us, especially when we’ve looked around every corner, only to find disappointment. Yet, hope is there as surely as the seasons change. We’ve been so focused on just getting through, that we may have forgotten to look for the signs, but they’re
all around us. I can feel it . . . it’s right around the corner. Hope is pushing its way through the desolation.