#52sparks: What hope looks like to you

Yesterday at a staff meeting, my supervisor shared about the root words behind the word “miraculous.” Apparently it can be broken down into two smaller words: mira and culous. Translating from Latin to English we get “little smiles.”

I loved it.

So often miracles are viewed as the big things, like the storm that didn’t take the house or the illness that was healed when no one thought it could be. And absolutely those should be appreciated as miracles.

But there are also the little miracles that should be recognized. Such as running into a friend in an unexpected place or hearing just the right song on the radio after a long day at work. Those are the little smiles that can happen every day and make it possible to get through the days between the big miracles.


I’ve been in the midst of a harder season for a while now. It’s about a two-year long story, maybe longer, and not the point of this post. What has gotten me through have been the small miracles and hope for bigger ones someday.

When my bag and computer were stolen this summer, that was one of the darkest days I’ve ever had. So much was lost in the cruel act of one man. Some pain was added through the complete lack of action by the police (I provided a video of the crime, the criminals license plate, and his temporary location, and they…I’m not sure if they did anything ever) and by some well-meaning people on the internet who offered advice for what I could-have, should-have, would-have done.

At the exact same time, light was given through the kindness of friends. Like Ashley and Afton who sat with me while I wept on the sidewalk. And Susan who took care of life needs like food and medicine when all was spinning. And my mother who made sure that everything that could be replaced would be (she is still keeping an eye on ebay).

The picture above is a keychain that my friends Beth and Patricia got for me from San Diego. I had bought one there last summer, and it had been among the losses in the car. So I texted Patricia, who lives in California, with a request that if she ever saw a keychain that was shaped like a surfboard, with a blue van on it, and was a bottle opener, to please get it. The one I had bought was the last one at an airport gift shop so the chances seemed pathetically small.

The new gifted keychain now resides in my replacement bag, which I carry with me every day to work and all over this city. Each time I see it, a little smile reminds me that I am loved. And that gives me enough hope to get through another day of this season.


#52sparks is my year-long writing series based on an art prompt challenge. The title is inspired by a quote from Star Wars: The Last Jedi: “We are the spark, that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down” (Poe Dameron). The spark that lights a fire to toast a marshmallow or to ravage a forest begins in the space of an inch. So just imagine what hundreds of inches and words can do.

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