We all need the Little Maybe of hope, don’t we? And, at certain times in our lives, this need is greater than at others.
The implications behind that small word, with its two syllables and unpretentious duo of meanings, have sustained me at my lowest points during the past year. When my own mind – and the lugubrious thought of another – has insisted that ‘impossible’ is the only word to use, the fleeting flight of a winged Maybe overhead has gladdened the heart and lightened the leaden step.
When the first small house I fell in love with was snapped up by someone else, and I wept and dismantled my dreams, that minuscule kick in the solar plexus from a feisty, free-ranging baby Maybe revitalised me and allowed me to carry on the search.
When I found small abode number two, and knew it for a kindred brick spirit immediately, all manner of logistical and financial downers made themselves known instantly – and, had it not been for a particularly stroppy, DM-wearing Leprechaun of a Maybe, I might well have given up at that point and rented a garret in a rough part of Shitsville!
You see, Maybes are not giving us false hope, or encouraging bizarre and manic behaviour; they are simply tapping us on the shoulder and reminding us that, for every moment of hopelessness and loss and disillusion and grief, there is that little visitor which whispers the possibility of improvement.
Obviously, this word can be seen as a set of scales, representing balance – and is often used, especially amongst teenagers, as an all-purpose variation of ‘Possibly! Haven’t decided! Bugger off and leave me alone!’
But I have claimed its myriad faeries for bolstering and encouraging and enlivening. I use them to turn negatives into the sticky buds of positivism. Every day, during the divorce – and now during the house sale/house purchase process – I have used that little magic to turn, ‘I can’t!’ into, ‘Maybe I can!’ and, ‘I’m trapped!’ into, ‘Maybe there is an alternative and creative way out!’
My tiny Maybe friends have not always been right. Sometimes, the negatives have taken over – though, usually, there is a higher cause at work which becomes clear later – and no comforting Maybe has been to hand. But the practice has helped me hugely during one of the most distressing years in a very long time – and, whenever I feel defeated, insecure, fearful or down, I apply the salve of a Maybe to soothe my troubled soul and remind me that hope springs eternal.