I’m reading a book that has nothing to do with addiction but is a father’s search for reasons for being hopeful about the future, so that he can share them with his son.

We talk a lot about the role of hope in initiating recovery at Dawn Farm, so I thought a few snippets from the book might be worth sharing.

One one woman’s awakening[emphasis mine]:

I remember talking with a woman from Chicago who told me she was astonished to have reached the age of thirty. She started doing drugs at age ten, joined a gang at twelve, killed a rival and went off to prison at fifteen, and never expected to reach eighteen, What preserved her, she said, was a rehabilitation program that took her and other young inmates on day-trips into the Indiana dunes and on week-long canoe trips into the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. In those wild places she felt safe for the first time in her life: “There was nothing and nobody hating me or wanting to hurt me. Even with all that dirt, sand and rock, those places were clean, they were alive, they looked like they might last.” Having seen parts of the earth that promised to endure, she came to believe that she herself might endure, and that belief saved her. Now, at the improbable age of thirty, this woman was leading groups of juvenile offenders on wilderness journeys.

On the nature of hope:

Hope is like memory in its action: memory grips the past and hope grips the future.

Quoting Vaclav Havel:

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.