Hope Floats is one of my all-time favorite movies.
I have always loved the concluding line of the movie:
“Beginnings are scary.
Endings are usually sad,
But it’s what’s in the middle that counts.
So, when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up,
And it will.” –Hope Floats
I find myself teetering on the edge of one ending and the start of another beginning, and in the midst of that transition I find myself awash with these very emotions. Life is transitioning from one season to the next, and as wonderful as that transition is, and as happy as it makes me to see my children growing into amazing adults, with any change comes feelings of grief. Endings are sad, even when an ending is necessary for the next beginning. And the unknown of a new beginning is scary, despite the eager anticipation of the changes it will bring.
This trip has been an amazing blessing and a special gift of family time in the midst of riding this wave of change that is playing out in front of us. My goal this trip has been to do as the quote above councils and recognize the gift of the middle…that time that exists before the end of one season and the beginning of another. I have tried to allow myself to simply be, to rest in the present moment, and appreciate the gift of today and the magical experiences this vacation offers.
Yesterday marked the halfway point of our houseboat vacation and last night we had one of those magical experiences planned.
We brought with us 10 sky lanterns, knowing that we wanted to recreate some of the special moments from our past houseboat vacations.
The dark night, lit only with stars, made the perfect backdrop for this magical experience.
We told the kids we were sending hopes and prayers to heaven.
With a black Sharpie each person wrote upon their paper lantern the hopes and prayers of their hearts. Many in the group were feeling that same sense of nostalgia, as we all recognize the change of seasons that is bearing down on us. With kids leaving for school, working, getting married and nearing graduation, etc. everyone was more thoughtful about their prayers and wishes they wrote down.
Toby and I shared a lantern and here were the hopes and prayers we penned:
When everyone was done writing down the wishes of their hearts, we headed upstairs with our sky lanterns and a lighter.
Woody and Toby helped everyone light their lanterns and one by one the kids sent their prayers to heaven on the back of a lantern.
We stood on the deck watching our prayers float upward until they were specks of light, eventually lost in the shadows of the stars.
And it was beautiful.
“So, when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up, and it will!”
Here’s to hopes, dreams, and prayers for beautiful bright beginnings.