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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Hope Springs Eternal on Christmas Day…

Good morning, Netizens...

It is nearly 6:30 AM on Christmas Day, and despite the fact that few, if any, people will be dropping by the Virtual Ballroom this morning for their daily regimen of a cup of Virtual Espresso, after the events of the previous 24 hours in the “real world”, I felt now more than ever I needed a cup of something authoritative enough to dispel any remaining pre-Christmas snowstorm, power outage, slipping and sliding through the courses blues and put myself in the proper mindset of rejoicing.

The hardest part of it was navigating the waist-deep snow piled in incongruous piles everywhere there was room for piles, not to mention driving by car down snow-filled streets, but the minute I stepped onto the sidewalk leading to the Virtual Ballroom, the snow simply ceased to be a factor, as some thoughtful persons had removed every shred of the dreaded white stuff from the sidewalk, piling it over where magnolias bloomed last summer.

Stomping my feet free of snow, I stepped inside the doorway and was not terribly surprised, for the Virtual Ballroom, like the grand old lady that she is, was festooned with twinkling lights, magical icicles hanging from the rafters and a huge Christmas tree in the middle of the dance floor with presents for everyone clustered beneath the tree. Tiny elves flitted and flew around the room and a host of ghosts stood quietly singing Christmas favorites over behind the bandstand. It looked, smelled and sounded like what I always hoped Christmas could somehow be, and I was momentarily overwhelmed.

However as I strode across the Ballroom to my favorite bar stool I could see the ghosts of a lot of old friends whom have passed on, and others who are still living, sitting in their places at the bar, nodding at me and smiling. Who should appear before me with my traditional cup of virtual espresso but the ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge, himself.

“God Bless us Everyone!”, he cried, sliding a cup of delightful-appearing espresso before me. “Today's Virtual Espresso is special, more so than just because it is Christmas, for anyone in their right mind knows that. No,” he continued, his eyes twinkling, “This is a cup of the Hope which JeanieSpokane has so epitomized one of the true meanings of Christmas.”

I thought back, over the last few days, as Jeanie has written very eloquently of the Promises and Hope of Christmas and of the coming New Year, and as I took my first sip of today's delightful espresso, all the cares and worries about the unprecedented snow storms that have so plagued our region suddenly ceased to matter anymore. As quickly as the magic of tiny reindeer feet pattering on the roof overhead, I felt the Promise draw close to my heart and the Hope for the New Year, and I was suddenly at peace with life.

Unwanted, unbeckoned, the words from the poet swam into view:

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

-Alexander Pope,
An Essay on Man, Epistle I, 1733

Taking another sip and nodding my thanks at Scrooge and to Jeanie for having remembered, I opened the doorway of perception and welcomed Hope into my heart. After all, it is in the highest calling of Christmas, both past and present, that we embrace hope, give it a virtual home in our hearts, and that we bear it with us wherever we may go.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.