Actionable Hope is Eleanor Roosevelt: "We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it as not as dreadful as it appears, discovering that we have the strength to stare it down."
Actionable Hope is Captain Sully: during every previous departure from La Guardia, he asked himself, "What are my options if I lose engine power now?" And every few thousand feet higher, "How about now?" On the morning when rehearsal became reality, his hands and mind knew exactly what to do.
After decades spent mining the grey canyons of New York City, it was time to come home to the forested mountains of Virginia. Time, however, makes its own plans.
The old man surveyed the scene from the broken sidewalk. Uphill to his left, kudzu covered the remains of a workman’s cottage. Downhill to his right, another cottage sprawled in ruin.
In front of him lay an empty lot, weeds growing wild among the grass. A faint outline of burnt bricks traced its way through the abandoned lawn. He stepped over the bricks and stood again inside his childhood home. But he had to close his eyes to see it.
Even half a billion dollars could never set this right.
Or could it?
Once, long ago, the old man had made a promise. In the keeping of that promise lay his only hope for happiness.
The village nestled in a sloping valley between two mountain ridges in northwest Spain. The road began at the door of the highest house. It followed the valley downhill, lined on either side by brightly painted cottages, until it passed by the sign, curved around a stand of trees, and disappeared from sight.
At the second house from the top of the village, a car stood waiting, its engine running. The twelve year old sat in the back seat, packed with the rest of the luggage. She had unbuckled her seat belt so she could look out the rear window.
Grandmother stood at the fence in front of Home, waving.
Then the car began to move downhill, and everything the little girl had ever known slid away from her into the sky.
A continent away, and three years later, the fifteen year old awoke in tears. What a way to begin the first day at yet another new school.