"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you... and his incomparably great power for us who believe. - Excerpt from Paul's letter to the Ephesians
It started out as a feeling, which then grew into a hope. The hope germinated in an unspoken place. The place she could not speak of became too small for this hope that grew and grew in the darkness. She was afraid that it might reach the surface of the conscious & she wouldn’t know if she was strong enough to carry it... So, without a word, one lonely night she dug out the hope & buried it among the sacred things she tried to forget. All these sacred things were kept buried in a chest at the foot of the only tree in her unkept garden.
She hoped it would die & she hoped it wouldn’t. Can hope grow in a cold (human) chest?
The only problem with lonely nights, are that they’re never lonely. You might think it lonely ‘cause you cannot see through the cloak of night, but there is always someone watching you from behind a rustling leaf. Someone who might hear you cry, because you are scared, confused or blind, someone who might see you trying to hide a gift instead of using it. This night was no different. The girl did not see the owl who silently watced her dig out the chest containing the sacred treasures & bury it again.
Owls see better at night than we do. (During the day we don’t fare much better either.) Luckily this owl had the clarity to know that hope doesn’t belong buried for long, it’s not like gold or silver, it needs air. He knew the value of hope on the black market - he might be able to sell it for 5 mice & a hope as strong as the one which had to be contained might be valued twice that much!
The only problem was that owls don’t have hands. Opening buried chests with claws can be quite tricky. He would have to find a fool who would open the chest for him without knowing the value of the hope himself. But where would he find such a fool?
Luckily for owls claws can grasp chests very easily & without much effort the owl flew away with the chest.
Humans are strange beings. We bury things to forget them, but we’ll frequently visit the grave to make sure it is still buried. The girl without the hope did exactly that the first chance she got. To her shock she came upon the scene as the owl left it.
Then the strangest thing happened. Her world crumbled like a cake & tiny mice from everywhere came running to nibble on a crumb. The world is very far below when you don’t have a world to stand on. It was then that the girl without the hope realised the value of the thing she tried to bury & she began to weep, uncontrollably.
Mice are very sensitive beings. They prefer violin sonatas playing when they feast & even though crumbling world’s crumbs are very sweet to eat it tastes even better without the interruption of someone weeping.
So they halted the feast to ask the crying girl what was wrong.
“Someone stole my hope.” she said. “ I kept it buried in a chest & the chest is now gone! And now I don’t know what to do because my whole world came crumbling & you are eating away at all the crumbs & very soon the world I know will all be gone.”
As if they rehearsed it, in unison, the mice burst out in laughter.
“Make yourself a new world. No one can steal your hope & use it as their own,” they said.
“But how do I get it back? And how does one even begin to make a new world?” she asked.
“Oh, that’s easy."
"Easier said than done," one mouse interrupted.
"Pick a star on the dark horizon & follow it during your crimson night. Whilst you walk, take a pen & draw on the ground as you go. Very soon the star will come for you & illuminate the world you drew. Just keep on drawing, even though you cannot see what you are doing. The ink will make your new world & the magic of the star will bring it to light.”
“And the hope? Will I find it again?”
“Hope is a funny thing," said one mouse "...it chooses you.”
(What about the owl? What happened to him is another story altogether...)