I mentioned earlier that my 'good swag' included a book of reflections for Advent and Christmas. The first of those reflections was on the gift of hope which, according to GK Chesterton, is "the last gift given to man, and the only gift not given to youth." This struck me as an unusual observation at first; is youth not the time of optimism and enthusiasm? I pondered this for a while and came to understand his viewpoint: youth is the time when "...the end of every episode is the end of the world." How well I remember those hopeless endings!
So, I have to agree with GK that "the power of hoping through everything" comes in middle age and that it is "from the backs of elderly gentlemen that the wings of the butterfly should burst."
(I am aware that this post does not contain inclusive language but then, GK Chesterton lived in very un-PC times! I'm also conscious of the fact that I have written the venerable name several times and the GKC police will be after me again. If you have been offended by this post, please don't send me nasty emails, I've had enough.)