The smell of the wet grass in this field reminded me of the African Bushveld.

We relish in describing ourselves as optimists, and there’s nothing wrong with that – it’s a good thing to be optimistic. However, in my quieter moments, as I’ve pondered on this, I’ve thought of our expressions of optimism as often having more to do with our fears than anything else. It’s a sobering thought.

Optimism is often used as a kind of protective armour we put on to shield us from all the vagaries of life. It’s a way of dealing with our fears. We bury them under a layer of false optimism, while all the time they eat away at us.

Oscar Wilde once said, “The basis of optimism is sheer terror.” Sounds a bit extreme, but I think I’m beginning to understand something of what he meant.

May your new year be filled with authentic optimism and encouragement.