Inner Peace

Hope is the imprints of boots in mud
after winter too long.
Hope is a song
whispered among friends,
and around hospital beds,
flowing up to the clouds overhead.
Hope is the shrill of laughter,
the welcome collapse after
the longest day spent away. 
Hope is a prayer, 
a dare,
the people who care,
and the faith that no matter where
you may be, 
peace is there.

This week’s Wea’ve Written Weekly prompt came from Kerfe, who asks us to write about the following:

  • Emily Dickinson famously wrote a poem that begins with the line: ‘Hope is the thing with feathers’;
  • Begin your own poem with the words ‘Hope is…’ and see where it takes you.

Hope is many different things to me, and I believe that it can exist anywhere. Growing up, I never used to think too deeply about what “hope” meant. After cancer, one odd phenomenon that occurred is that people would randomly ask me about hope. Specifically about how I was able to be hopeful during cancer treatment and if I ever felt hopeless.

I found it funny that the first form I filled out at the Cancer Center back in January 2020 minutes before my very first appointment with my oncologist was one where you rank how upset you’re feeling. There was a smiley face on one end (#1) and a panicked face with tears and squinted eyes on the other end (#10) and all manner of expressions in between numbered 2 through 9. It was like the emotional equivalent to the pain chart you sometimes see in the hospital. You need to circle the number that best represents yourself in that moment. In spite of myself, I laughed aloud when I saw that chart. Right there with my big pregnant belly and my worried dad and nervous husband in a crowded oncology waiting room about to receive what I had naively assumed would be a death sentence.

“Do I just pick #10?” I asked my dad and husband, pointing to the panicked face. “You know, because…cancer..?” There was a nervous giggle threatening to bubble out and I don’t think I could have stopped it. Looking back, I was probably in some sort of shock, but I do also still find this moment humorous.

“Just do your best,” my dad said, which is actually a lot more serious than I expected his response to be, which only enhanced how serious the situation was.

I took a deep breath, thought about it, and circled #6.


Why didn’t I circle #10? If anything was a #10 moment of panic, it was totally that moment! But #10 didn’t have any hope; he was completely unraveled and beyond consolation. That wasn’t me.

I didn’t feel hopeless in that moment or in any moments following. And I like to believe I will always have my sense of peace that everything will work out in whichever way it was meant to, even if that way is painful or unpleasant or difficult or the last thing we ever expected or wanted.

At least, I hope so. 😉

28 thoughts on “Inner Peace

  1. What lovely thoughts on hope. And I’m always inspired by your stories. My scumbag brain would think that everything is a 10. I think this is why I like looking at pictures of space and faraway galaxies. So that I remember how tiny a speck I am, and that that loud car vrooming about outside my house isn’t as big a problem as my mind makes it out to be. People are suffering much worse. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! Space has a special way of making us feel insignificant. We like to look up at the night sky where we live because we have a great view of the stars, which have a similar effect.


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