And so hope brings us back to the sweetness of anticipation. The event we wait for – whether the arrival of a loved one at a railway station, or the birth of a child, or the dawn of a more just society – is not an end but a new beginning. Hope is not naive: it does not assume that They Lived Happily Ever After; it knows that there will be an ongoing working-out to be engaged with.
Emotionally, the event we wait for is as a stone thrown into a pond, sending out ripples nearer to us and further from us, before and beyond. But whereas despair sees those ripples as threatening to swamp us, hope sees them as radiating out in peaks, and troughs; light, and dark; song, and silence; reaching out to us.
Hope sees both what will be and what is, and just as love drives out fear so hope overturns despair. And so we wait, with anticipation; and as we wait, we prepare ourselves to welcome – the loved one, the child, the just society – and to live within the new reality, to have our story-line recorded in the new chapter.