A little over a year ago, I was in Washington, DC. Charles and I were taking a short vacation. It was a mix of feelings the entire time. Charles had just lost an uncle, and we were only days away from moving in together. It was a mix of stress and difficulty that would end in the beginning of what would be the worst year on my personal record.
But standing in DC, I didn’t know that 2017 was going to be awful. It was still full of hope. The same kind of hope that I felt standing beneath all of the monuments.
If you’re visiting DC, the first thing I would say is that all of the monuments – Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, MLK, War Memorials, all of them – they are all open 24 hours a day. They are also totally empty at night, and spectacularly well lit. Sure, there’s no gift shop, but a one-on-one experience with a giant piece of art is otherworldly.
So, there we were. It was the last night of our trip. We were visiting monuments. Silent. Alone. My favorite, artistically, was the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. It was designed based around a line in the “I Have a Dream” speech that reads, “Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
All of 2017, this idea kept coming up. More hope. Always more hope. I am coming out of that year now, feeling better, more equipped, to handle my life. Things are more stable. Things are better.
Even as my life becomes more stable, easier to manage, I know that’s not the case for many people. Workign as a teacher has given me so much access to people who are living life so much differently than I am. The common thread remains: a stone of hope.
There’s always hope for tomorrow. Try to make today more than just a long weekend.