Hope is a dress that my mother once wore
A fiddle tune I heard that has no words
Hope is the one thing we have never lost…
–Susan McKeown River (song lyrics excerpt).
River by Irish-born Celtic musician Susan McKeown is a real favorite in my music library. While I enjoy the melody, I fell in love with this song by McKeown even more for the phrase, “Hope is a dress my mother once wore. A fiddle tune I heard that has no words.” I am thinking of these poetic song lyrics about hope and its importance right now now as I observe the whirlwind of change and uncertainty unfolding in America with reverberations felt around the world.
Along with the volatile world events, the October 11th one-year anniversary of my spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy’s passing is fast approaching – called Mahasamadhi in the case of an illumined spiritual master leaving the body. Thus, my heart is heavy and full of concern — whether for the ravages of hurricanes, financial turmoil or the closeness of memories from memorial activities for Sri Chinmoy one year ago. Given all that is happening, I feel that blogging right now about my latest fun discovery (the Animal Clock in Central Park for instance) from within my own little universe doesn’t quite work.
Odd is it for me that even as I bear witness to tremendous upheaval and sad memories, I find myself inwardly buoyant. Meditation like an anchor is holding me fast in its arms. Recently my regular travels to New York to meditate with other members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre leave me immersed in deeper and deeper peace, serenity and faith.
Back home I even find that in spite of a storm of ongoing uncertainty for the fate of public libraries in Massachusetts (my chosen profession for over 20 years), I am greeted by sweet, encouraging dreams when I sleep at night. In the dream world, I encounter healing advice, support and teaching.
I can only surmise that my spiritual outlook is ringing like a bell with the message that the true meaning of life is not found in outer prosperity or material things but rather in union of our soul with God. And the clapper inside that bell is none other than hope.
Hope is more important than ever when times are troubled. The Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus gives “trust, confidence, dependence, faith, reliance and stock” as synonyms for the word hope. Sri Chinmoy placed abundant importance on the role of hope in his philosophy and teachings. In an interview with journalist Joel Martin, Sri Chinmoy stated,
He who treasures hope can make progress…
without hope we cannot even budge an inch…
Is there any human being who can live on
earth without hope?
I will be concentrating on hope through this stormy weather, humming that fiddle tune that has no words and thinking of more lyrics from Susan KcKeown’s River song:
Hoe is a river that flows from these stone walls
into an ocean we have never seen…
Listen to the song: