November 2022 Hope is a Cold Nose and Other Inspiring Stories

Image of Map for Hope Quest

47.663933° N, -117.400856° E

Hope Is

In a song written by a beautiful soul who graced my path this month with her gentleness, her quietness, and her elegant presence in the brief two hours I was privileged to share time with her.

Though the calendar has moved past November 11, a designated holiday of paying tribute to those who have served, in service for a greater good each believed in with their whole hearts, I learned well when writing Hope Has a Cold Nose, remembering is not for one day in a year.  Holding into a permanent memory the sacredness of having each other’s backs through the most unimaginably times that could promise the future would contain pain, trauma, sorrow, or despair (P.T.S.D.), as well as through the victorious times, does not only begin at midnight until 11:59:59 the next day on a specific day out of 365 days in a year.   It is a lifelong journey of honoring.  Of remembering.  

Of dancing with letting go of pain and trauma to let in peace and forgiveness.  Of letting go of sorrow and the self-worn boxing gloves of judgment to let in self-compassion and worthiness.  Of letting go of the curse of hindsight that wants to sit on a shoulder and say would have, could have, if only and embrace wisdom and the purpose of our life story – for all the chapters the story holds.

I did not have the privilege of listening to her story, though I am largely certain she, too, has stories that hold pain.  Sorrow.   Trauma.  Dancing with grace between opposites that whisper worthy, unworthy.   Trust.   Fear.   Hopeless. 


I am not mostly certain because of what led our paths to intersect, though that offers a suggestion there is truth in my knowing.   I am certain because I can hear her heart’s whisper through the words she in-tuned to write and in the sound of her voice as she then sang those words.  I can hear I don’t walk in your shoes, but I understand what it is to hurt and struggle to have faith.  I care.  You are not alone.

Hope Is in the beautiful soul who wrote this song of


Hope Is

in the privilege of being a co-author with a community of voices sharing about Seeing through their Eyes of empathy. 

Hope is casting ripples of empathy into the world.

For a copy of inspirational stories, click on this link below

Real Women Write: Seeing Through Their Eyes: Sharing Stories, Sharing Lives in Prose and Poetry from Story Circle Network: Schoch, Susan, Schoch, Susan, Wachter, Sherry: 9780979532993: Books

What is Hope to you?   I would love to read and hear your thoughts.  I’d love to share them with others via email or on my web page at HOPE IS | -Hope Ascends (  I welcome your handwritten messages or drawn pictures to the address below.  Or feel free to email me.     

P.O. Box 327

Gobles, MI 49055

ATTN:  Hope Is

42.3838° N, -85.95861° E

31.814194° N, 34.753376° E

41.88425° N, -87.63245° E


Speaking of seeing through their eyes.

I have been fortunate this month to travel, which means I am also fortunate to meet people I have not met before.   In the sentiment of moments, seasons, and lifetimes, some people we meet are moments.  Some may be seasons.   Perhaps even one or two will become lifetimes.  

Or, then again, as I have found, sometimes a person we meet is only for a moment, yet that moment shifts us for life. 

Like the joy I experience each time I write a note to a stranger sharing how much I appreciate that my path intersected with them.   Sometimes I experience their surprised – and delighted and grateful – response.  Other times I can only imagine that I brought them at least a smile to what might otherwise be an “ordinary” or struggling day as the note they receive is after I have walked away.

Each time my intuition whispers write for this one, what I know most of all is that I have just provided what each of us desire which is to be seen and heard and to know that we matter in a very noisy, crowd-filled world. 

My travels this month included being international.  My path crossed with an individual who spent a few weeks this summer visiting the United States.  He and his family started their journey in New York City. Then to Las Vegas. Followed by San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Orlando, a cruise through the Bahamas, and then back to New York to return home.   His first impressions included the huge amount of food in the United States filled with sugar and that fresh served food is lacking  (Truth!)   How everything edible seems to be surrounded by cheese.   (Remembering the days, I ate dairy.  Truth.)  Every salad seems to be Caeser.   (I’ve started to notice that is the base salad in many locations.  Awareness Increasing as Truth.)   

And then we began to engage in dialogue about what it was like leading in an organization in the U.S. versus in an organization in the country he knows as home.   Both of us coming to one table, each of us from different countries, each country with their own unique cultural traits.  Each country filled with diversity through immigration. 

He shared about robust raised voice conversations that can happen in the workplace.  I shared my experiences that lack of emotionally raised voice outbursts has at times signified conflict avoidance in meetings. 

We began stepping out of meeting rooms to roads.   He experiences drivers not easing up on the gas pedal to let another driver enter the space in front.   He witnessed drivers letting vehicles enter the space in front of them when he visited the U.S.  (Yay!)  Like driving on roads, weaving in and out of lanes, our dialogue weaved through current times and history.  We began talking about what generations before us experienced and how that influences people’s starting places in how we hear those around us and in how we choose to respond to others’ actions and words.  We talked of respect.   And judgment.  We talked of the dance. 

That dance of grace between opposites in how we learn and in how we choose to make the generational stories lived before us matter in how we respond to what life brings us now.  If our ancestors knew disrespect and significant judgment, for example, and we deeply believe in respect, our dance of grace is in being a change agent to foster respect while dancing with the frustrations of those who are disrespectful. 

We talked of which wolf gets fed. (If you are not familiar, google A Tale of Two Wolves)

We talked of how in whatever organization, on whatever road, that moment in which people come together is microcosm of the macro.

The macro being


Our human journeys.

Recently I listened to a replay from Mindfulness in A World on Fire, an event created by Soren Gordhamer.  Two speakers – Jon Kabat-Zinn and Anderson Cooper – shared the world has always been on fire.  Civil War.  World Wars.  Now we see it more.  We are exposed to experiencing it more.  Yet.  The world has always been on fire.  In fact, both individuals shared that research shows things have gotten better over the past 200 years.  I know.  I felt the same. My initial thought choice in my internal response was Really?!!!   

The hope in me loves the thought.   Improvement through history. 

Can we write history going forward with continued improvement?

I don’t know what anyone else will choose.   I only know which wolf I strive to feed.

As I traveled home from my second trip, continuing to listen for the next whisper write for this one for the notecard awaiting being messenger in my backpack, I observed a dear wise elder making her way slowly down the airplane aisle to stretch her aging legs weary from the flight, and from time.  She carried a retractable cane.  Her equally weary hands trying to unscrew the retraction so that she could extend the cane to her height.  I was behind her a few feet, both of us moving in a direction of the restroom.  I listened internally to which was needed more in that moment.  Compassion in offering to help her with her cane.  Or dignity as her energy spoke of the need to retain independence.   I opted to slowly walk, and sometimes pause, as she made her way down the aisle.

We reached a widening where there was room to pass.  As she stood a few feet from the unoccupied restroom with cane in hand, I prepared to ask her if she was planning to use the lavatory.  As I began to ask this dear soul, a gentleman walked around both of us to use a restroom.  Neither I nor this dear weary soul were seen.   We were noticed, for two people at the end of an aisle are not invisible.  But we were not seen.   To be fair, he opted to make the turn to the restroom available on the other side of the plane.  Yet his energy spoke I don’t see the drivers in the other lane who may be wanting to pull into this lane in front of me.

Do I wish he had said excuse me?  Maybe.   I think it is more than that.   Do I wish he had noticed the dear soul in front of me who, from my lens, deserves elder respect.   Yes, I think it is that.  And more.  I think it is a deep-seeded wish that his starting place was my starting place.  That he noticed those around him who might no longer feel seen and heard and or question that they matter.  In his own human journey of trying to be seen and heard, I wish that he could see that when he hears and sees others through the lens of such things as compassion, kindness, and empathy, he is less invisible in a crowded world – or plane.

I don’t know his story.  I don’t know what worries or fears he might have.  Or what internal wounds his history holds.  I don’t know his dance of grace.  

I only know my own dance and the energy I want remaining when I am no longer standing in the space I had just been standing. 

I only know the wolf I strive to feed for my contribution that our next 200 years continue to get better.

What future are you creating? 

45.78092° N, -122.53406° E

12.903773° N, -84.92182° E

41.88425° N, -87.63245° E

42.241177° N, -84.40951° E

A Cold Nose

At the risk of duplicating emails you might already be receiving for Giving Tuesday, or at the risk of adding to a flood of “support us” messages in your inbox, I am providing links to four organizations that have captured my heart with their missions.  If the month of December is a giving month for you, please consider one of these. 

I am grateful to you.  I am grateful for you heart.

Professionally Trained Service Dogs for Veterans – Northwest Battle Buddies

NicaLove – For the Love of Nicaragua – People and Animals

Home – Love From Louie Jackson, MI. Non-Profit helping animals

42.65525° N, -86.20289° E

Hope’s Spiral Staircase

N ° S ° E ° W °

Hope Whispers, Nature Speaks

Your “homework” this month.  Reflect on these quotes and these images below. 

Where might you be feeling uncertain that hope blooms?

Or that you are uncertain that you have the strength to withstand a storm that might be swirling around you?

Ok.  Place your hand on your heart.  Feel your feet firmly placed on the floor.  Take a deep breath. Take another.  See the yellow flower?  See the pigeon safely tucked within its winged feathers?  Breathe.   Let the promise of hope bring you to the current moment of now.  Feel the promise of harboring strength to carry on.  Breathe.   Now close your eyes and see yourself giving yourself a big hug.  

Feel the hug.

Feel the hug’s embrace stronger than uncertainty. 

Feel the hug’s embrace bringing to the surface I can, and I’ve got this.  And watch me!


You do.

Hope is.


In wilderness lies the hope of the world.  John Muir

Flower blooming amidst wilted plant

Nature’s soul fields stormy weather, harboring strength to carry on. Angie Weiland-Crosby

Pigeon on windowsill in snowstorm


Your energy introduces you before you even speak.  Author Unknown




If you have enjoyed this month’s message, please pay it forward to others.  They can also subscribe to future emails by visiting   If you know of someone who has a Hope Is message to share, please encourage them to share via the post office address (or via email).  I welcome sharing their input on the Hope Is website or in future blog messages!   

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