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Lemons - Pixabay

“When Life gives you lemons…”

Life has given us a lot of lemons lately.

There’s a war on in Europe.

There’s a never-ending plague.

My writing career seems to be stalled in second gear, as I try to finish a trilogy that has consumed my life for nigh on two years.

And real estate prices are raging like a five-alarm fire here in Sacramento. It’s dawning on us that we will probably never own a home again.

All of this fills me like a fog on a cold winter’s day. Somehow I need to have hope. Somehow I need to light a candle to push back the darkness.

Hope is one of life’s essentials, as important as the air we breathe and the water we drink. Without hope, why go on? What’s the point? And when you sink into that abyss, it’s hard to come back.

I shared a video with a zoom group that we’re a part of last week about what to do when you can no longer envision a hopeful future. There’s a name for it – psychologists call it “sense of a foreshortened future.”

According to the video, one thing you can do to reclaim your future is take small steps to create the foundation for a new one. Maybe it’s different from the one you imagined before, maybe even radically different.

But it could also be better.

We have a lemon tree at the edge of our front yard. Technically it’s on the neighbor’s property, but half of it sticks out over our lawn. It’s currently filled with a couple hundred beautiful, yellow fruits, and last week the neighbors welcomed us to take some of them.

So we filled a bag with lemons, but not for ourselves. We called a friend who absolutely loves lemons, and she stopped by to pick up a bag of them.

It’s my own version of making lemonade – turning lemons into friendship.

In these times of so much pain and so little control, it’s the small things we can do that can have the most impact on ourselves and others around us.

So I’m picking lemons, and a little later, Mark and I will go through one of our closets and get rid of things we no longer need, freeing up space and passing them on to someone else who can use them. A little gift for someone else’s life.

And maybe tomorrow, some small but beautiful gift will come into our own.

Until then, I’m protecting my small flicker of hope from the winds that howl outside our door, keeping it from going out entirely. Praying that one day we’ll be able to bask in its warm glow again.

Love you all.

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