There is a little tepee in my back yard.

My dad built it just about a year ago with sticks and string.

It now has vines meandering up it and

a wind chime that welcomes when the wind blows.

I smile each time I look at it.

It makes me think of love, fun and family.

For someone else in my family, this little tepee is a reminder

of a sad, rough time

and the beginning of a sad, rough year.

For my sister, it makes her think of love lost.

For her, this little teepee is a reminder of the choking tears shed

and of hope held loosely.

It shelters hard emotions and painful moments.

It’s a year later and we are still holding onto hope,

in varying degrees each day.


Tropical storm Irma blew through here

a few days ago.

The wind blew, trees fell, people lost power for days.

Before the storm hit I went out and

took pictures of the tepee

in the event it didn’t survive the powerful wind.


It survived unscathed.

Vines and wind chime intact.

And all I see now is hope.


I am not sure what my sister will see

when I send her a picture of the tepee still standing.

My prayer is that she sees that even though

this represents a place of pain –

that there is room for hope.

That, somehow, a place that has been reserved for grief –

has room to welcome joy.

That in the midst of hurt, somehow there’s healing.

I don’t know how it is possible for a heart to do all of this –

to hold all of this.

Nor do I understand how a tepee can survive powerful winds

and yet trees fall.

But I can see it with my own eyes.

The tepee.

The vine.

The wind chime.

I see hope.