It’s early morning when she greets me, a wet furry nose poking my own, much drier one. One eye open to peer at my wake-up call, I spot the milk stain on her chin. Cats do not believe in sleeping in.
A novel I fully intend on reading sits on the kitchen counter, a mug engraved with a sleepy, smiling face begging for coffee. Of course I comply. Behind me, the radio buzzes. They’re talking about the upcoming French election, that I’ve read about in newspaper snippets. It’s a heavy set question for so early in the day. Do I actually fear for the future? I shuffle towards the fridge, ready to raid for my raspberry flavoured prize, armed with a spoon. With my newly acquired yogurt, I listen out again.
“Well, the great thing about war is..”
That’s when I shut it off again, an instinctive protection against all talks of violence. But the world is in a fragile state and I cannot run away forever.
I think a lot about the world ending, our humdrum lives being washed away and forgotten. A lonely universe is a saddening thought. But I also think a lot about living, truly living. Our history is tainted with blood and tears, but there is always one precious gem in our lives; hope. Hope is the thing with feathers. (Emily Dickinson)
I think hope is worth more than all the money in the world could ever hope to be. Cling onto hope, hold its hand tightly and never let it go. If we live in fear, are we really living? It feels more like surviving at times. We don’t always feel happy or truly alive and sometimes we will have that gut-wrenching feeling of impending doom and existential dread. We’re a species whose entire existence has always depended on merely surviving and adapting. Sometimes I am afraid. But today is not that day.
I look down at my furry companion, whose bells are jingling as she rubs up against my legs. She wants some of my yogurt, of course, but a reassuring sentiment all the same. How can I be afraid when I have her? She is the proof that the world still has some goodness in it. Sootie the furry little cat is an embodiment of hope. We still have art, music and hedgehogs in the world, so life must not be that bad.
Life has its ups and more downs than can be classified as fair. But you better hold onto that brightness and never let it go. Spread some positive vibes, if you can. Smile at your neighbours, plant blindingly yellow sunflowers in your garden. Eat some cake because you god damn deserve it. Hold your hands up and repeat after me; “I am the future”.
Today, the future is not bleak, I will not let it be.