Many of us can imagine a gratifying landscape. It might differ in terms of its details—perhaps a burbling stream in one, a meadow of wildflowers in another. For others, it may have mountains soaring to the sky and for still another, it could possibly even be a night-scape of one of the largest cities in the world. They all have a certain beauty to them.
Regardless, these landscapes of hope evoke feelings that urge us into a dream of what might be. We can look at the world around us and derive a feeling of goodness or hope, making it far more gratifying or pleasant.
And sure, some of the places we may live and work are a far cry from pleasant. Hopeful isn’t the first word we’d choose to describe many of these places. Perhaps we live in a house with leaky taps, a few holes in the walls and so on.
Hope is defined as a longing or desire for something, along with the belief in the possibility of its occurrence. When we find those landscapes of hope, they’re inspiring and uplifting. They are the stepping stones to change, providing a blueprint for a desired future.
Creating Landscapes of Hope
There’s a lot going on in the world right now that can bring us down. There’s no need to belabour the point, describing the various concerns that are dogging our heels. Futile wars or the increased cost of living are but two.
We’re surrounded by the broken debris of a world that seems at times to be falling apart, spiritually and in a practical sense, too. Even if our lives are well-manicured and precise, jagged edges remain to tear into our spirits.
A comforting tonic to ease our troubles is often readily in view if or hopefully when we happen to see it. They don’t even have to be monumental, just enough to kindle sentiments in our hearts of a place we’d want to be. And it’s in our own best interests to see the potential snapshots of beauty or magic in the landscape.
Countless times, if we’re lucky, we’ll spot the little pockets of wonder all around. The obvious ones are maybe a glorious sunrise or sunset. Others are not so obvious, but they’re there. Helping to colour and bring light to the future, such vignettes, however small, can be distinguishing features of a landscape of hope.
We’ve all experienced it. Sometimes we walk by an area that, on first sight, leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps it’s a bit ramshackle. Especially if it’s a spot with an old abandoned cabin, maybe, with its doors hanging on rusty old hinges. We may see it every day on our daily ramble through the woods.
Otherwise, it could be a rough and tumble part of the woods, the trees mostly blown down after the last wind-storm. We look with sadness at the trees, buckled and bowed now.
In both instances, we can only offer a sad appraisal of these vignettes. Neither would seem even a fragment of a landscape of hope. Although, give it time. Dependent on our frame of minds, slowly but surely, it can transform.
Northern Flicker (Source of photograph: Wikipedia).
In our minds, the wood logs of the cabin can renew, the sound of hammering distantly punctuating our thoughts. We think of how it likely was when it was first erected. The rickety hinges are renewed in our minds, the rust fading.
Along the trail near all those bowed trees, there’s a snag of a tree. And in one of its several holes, we can just imagine a Northern Flicker flying to and fro. The world in its natural circumstances interently provides the ingredients for a rebirth.
Both of these form the nucleus of a landscape of hope, lightening our hearts and helping turn our perspectives towards visions of what could be. They are two of any number of vignettes that could form landscapes of hope. Through the power of our imagination, we transformed these depictions into what they could be in the days ahead. So, by extension, landscapes of hope can be touchstones for a future. They can be the initial steps toward shaping our frame of mind as we create the changes we envision.
Changing Ourselves to Change the World
In 1913, Mahatma Ghandi spoke the following words:
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”
This is simply to say, we control what happens in our world. We’re the ones who can create the landscapes of hope. These can then go on to inspire us to create a world in which we wish to live. It’s in our hands.