So the Olympics started last week. I admit, I normally don’t watch. Each time they happen I tell myself I will, but invariably I forget or am travelling or am washing my hair which is no mean feat when you think about it. After all, I don’t look to be going bald anytime soon, fingers crossed. This year though, oh this year has been a bit different.
“You wear your honor like a suit of armor, Stark. You think it keeps you safe, but all it does is weigh you down and make it hard for you to move. Look at you now. You know why you summoned me here. You know what you want to ask me to do. You know it has to be done … but it’s not honorable, so the words stick in your throat.”
– Lord Petyr Baelish, Master of Coin, to Lord Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, Warden of the North, Hand of the King, and Protector of the Realm, from Game of Thrones by George R R Martin.
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
Hope is a funny thing, to which any baseball fan (or sports fan in general) can attest. I have been a life long fan of the Atlanta Braves, and was lucky enough to be a teenager in the 1990’s when the Braves began a 14 year span where they won the National League Eastern Division title every year. We (because as a fan, yes I am part of the team) only won one World Series, and in the years we didn’t win the World Series we always hoped we would win the next year. You see, we knew we would be back in the Series next year. Every year.
But that wasn’t hope, not really. You see, hope is a matter of degree – it is one thing to hope to win the World Series, and quite another to hope your team will even make to the Series to begin with.
And it’s yet another level of hope that your team will make the playoffs, have a winning season, or even manage not to end in last place.
Hope is about degrees. What I hope for is not what you hope for. As I sit here watching one of the worst seasons the Braves have had during my lifetime, you most likely hope for something else. Perhaps you hope for tickets to a Broadway show. I hope that in a year or two we’ll be back on top. Such is our lot – to hope for happiness.
But hope is about degrees. As I type this, I’m sitting on my couch and watching as the Braves play a game against one of the best teams in the league; it’s Memorial Day.
Think about that for a moment: today is Memorial Day, and I am hoping my Braves can pull off a win against the Giants.
On Memorial Day.
Hope is about degrees, and while I sit here hoping that the Braves will win, I can’t help but be reminded that men and women have given their lives to protect our country. To protect other countries. To protect life. These men and women fought. And what did they hope for? I cannot say for certain, but I would guess that as the shells fell and as the bullets flew these men and women who fought, these men and women who died, most likely just hoped to see a loved one again. They hoped that their fellow soldiers survived long enough for a medic to arrive. They hoped not only to survive but to win a desperate fight.
They hoped their sacrifices would not be forgotten.
I hope the Braves win today, and that’s okay. It’s okay because those men and women fought to be sure I could be free. They fought so you could free.
They fought for people from other counties that spoke other languages.
They fought so we could hope and enjoy the little things.
So yes, I hope that the Braves win, and I remember that my ability to hope for such a minor thing as a baseball game victory is owed to the brave men and women who came before. Thank you for your sacrifices that I might live a live free of tyranny and oppression.
Image courtesy Wikipedia
“‘Tis the night – the night
Of the grave’s delight,
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they – it is they.”
“It’s said that All Hallows’ Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin – and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright.”
“It’s not what you did, son. It’s who you did it too.”
That said, don’t piss him off.
Minor spoilers below the trailer, as always.
“Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, ‘Never take candy from strangers.’ And then they dressed me up and said, ‘Go beg for it.’ I didn’t know what to do! I’d knock on people’s doors and go, ‘Trick or treat.’ ‘No thank you.'”
There are many religions around the world, including many that are little known, such as Baha’i. The Gardens in Haifa are some of the most beautiful in the world, and dedicated to the Baha’i faith. Open to the public, these gardens serve to remind us that peace and tranquility can be found in the outside world, and within ourselves.
I hope you enjoy these photos from my visit there in 2012.
To learn more about the Baha’i Gardens please click here.
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