“the smell of hope — the opposite of hate”

I’ve been feeling depressed lately about the state of the world. News articles and television conspiring to remind us daily about the vulnerabilities of mother earth and all her minions — human, fish, reptile and fowl. From polar bears to tropical frogs to children in Afghanistan and green space in Ohio, it seems so much and many are in a persistent state of peril.

Yesterday I spent at the Lake County Farm Park with my daughter Katie and her children Stephie (5) and Scotty (almost 3). There is something about small hands reaching out to pet the knees and necks of the unbridled kindness of workhorses — an act of mutual trust — that seems hopeful. Like the walk through the corn maze, each stalk holding but one or two ears, reaching with pride to heights of nine feet. Young kids nursing from their mothers and sheep dogs that can control their universe with a look, no technology required. So much of what we have we do not need and so much of what the world needs they do not have. To go to the farm park is like looking the word “balance” up in the dictionary. Just for a reminder.

Started a new book yesterday, a recommendation from my dear friend Bonnie Campbell Hill. Shantaram. On page 4, the author Gregory David Roberts observes when exiting the airport in Bombay, that it smells of “the sweet smell of hope, which is the opposite of hate; and it’s the sour, stifled smell of greed, which is the opposite of love.” That phrase has followed me everywhere since I read it.

And that line followed me to the farm park where I caught a whiff of what Roberts was talking about. And (gratefully) it has followed me back home.

Leave a Reply