Remember Hope

By Brynne Betz

Somewhere way up north, where the blackberries ooze plump and the summers are almost all sun, is a little cove tucked inside a hidden curve of forest. And overlooking that patch of magic that so few ever see, is a house. It’s small. And quaint. And it gives you an unexpected smile when you first see it from afar. Come, you have your suit on, dive in the water with me, let me show you something secret, a magical place for me . . .

You put your hand in mine when we step up and out of the sea, onto the rocky shore. You are cold from your swim but my hand, it’s warm and safe. You can trust me. You made a wise choice. You are already starting to warm up in the summer sun, enveloped by the trees, your hand the warmest, as you walk close to me.

The forest floor is soft, padded with pine needles and moss, ferns and salal. Birds twitter out of sight, a butterfly dances just beyond your reach and a single yellow orchid twists toward the sky. You smile to yourself because you feel hugged. Hugged in a foreign place with your hand in mine, your body dripping ocean on the muffled forest floor.

You breathe the judgment out. Acceptance finds its place. You breathe the worries out. Peace finds its place. You breathe the objectives out. Receptive-open finds its place. You look up and see a ray of sun sneaking through the trees. And when your eyes return to your Self, you notice your step is lighter, your mood has a scent of hope, and you feel more alive-awake than you have, well, in a very long time.

The house is a warm rust-red with golden light kissing its seams. There’s a vegetable garden with a pin wheel, a red geranium in a pot, and a big glass jar of tea, steeping in the sun on the porch. The screen door slams . . .

Darlin’? Is that you? She calls out in your direction.

You are silent. Waiting for someone else to answer. But you look around. And there is only you. The old woman smiles, her eyes sparkling like diamonds, her warmth and welcome begging to be shared. With you.

Yep, it’s me! I’m coming! You say to the old woman, almost disbelieving. And so you do.

Music’s already on. I’ve been waiting for you, she says, and off she goes . . .

You step inside. It’s nice. It’s very nice. Not fancy. Or pretentious. But beautiful. Artistic. Warm and gentle. The kind of place you’d expect a golden retriever and squishy couches and a bouquet of wild flowers stuffed in a jar. You take a cookie off the plate, little crumbs nestling in the ridges on your shirt.

The next song is about to start! And I can tell by looking at you that you need it. So listen tight, she sings out from the next room.

And before you can protest because you decided long ago you hated musicals, that darn wonder takes over and you begin to crack a smile. Not a shallow smile that feels like silly humor, a deeper smile, a happy smile that feels like hope. Hope in the goodness of life. Hope in the goodness of people. Hope that where you are is exactly where you are meant to be. You breathe . . . trust . . . believe . . .in the open heart of a stranger on the edge of the sea, in a hidden cove, with a feeling that there’s nowhere else you’d rather be.

"With bare feet and a body connected to the natural world, my spirit inevitably filled with hope—even before I walked in the door. "Brynne Betz Photo: San Juan Islands Ferry:

“With bare feet and a body connected to the natural world, my spirit inevitably filled with hope—even before I walked in the door. “Brynne Betz
Photo: San Juan Islands Ferry:

When I was a little girl, my grandparents spent their summers in the Canadian San Juan Islands, in a little town beyond all others, their house overlooking the sea. And every summer when I got to visit, I swam in the frigid waters, wandered beneath the lush ancient trees, and at night, came home to their little house, to the sound of old fashioned musicals singing through the eaves. With bare feet and a body connected to the natural world, my spirit inevitably filled with hope—even before I walked in the door.

A lot of us seem to have forgotten our hope these days. The kind of hope that used to grow things like the American dream, the urge to marry, and the belief that dreams can come true. The kind of hope that says love can last forever, that people are good and that life will always show us something exciting and wonderful, just around the corner. The kind of hope that nature whispers on a warm summer eve with old fashioned musicals echoing its call, the kind of hope this week I wish for you.



Brynne Betz

Brynne Betz

Brynne Betz is a lover of the sea, of soft eyes, gentle hearts and the wonder in life that escapes even the best of us. She is trained as a transpersonal psychologist and would love to hear from you. Please visit her website at or send her an email at [email protected]

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