A Glorious Year of HOPE

August 4, 2015

A lot of people scrutinize their lives and set their intentions on the first day of the calendar year. I prefer to look at the places I’ve been, the person I’ve become and decide what I’d like to accomplish next at the beginning of my own new year, my birthday. That day is approaching and I’m in reflection. The past 12 months have been very special. I have been to many new places, met many new friends and have much to be grateful for. I wanted to share one experience that was a gift.

On August 1, 2014 I was honored that my story, HOPE, was published at Insight of the Day. The day was a milestone for many reasons. In addition to sharing HOPE, I launched a website dedicated to bringing comfort, inspiration, potentially new perspectives and the idea of Happy Optimistic Possibilities Everyday (HOPE) to the world. The really fabulous thing about August 1st is that my daughter, Brittany Hope Bishop, was born on that day. This year is the 30th anniversary of that beautiful present, although Brittany’s not here to blow out her candles. You see, she’s an angel. Brittany was in a one car accident 13 years ago. Learning to feel the joy of life again was a journey. For the past year I’ve been posting short videos and blogs with words I’ve felt compelled to share. During quiet moments of gratitude each morning, Brittany’s sunshiny spirit is with me as I write.

Last year, on that first day of August, a lady, a perfect stranger until then, found me  after reading HOPE. She called my agency. Her name is Alex Bennet. Alex explained that she and her husband, David, had read Insight of the Day and that she had a strong feeling that my husband and I should come to their farm in West Virginia. She asked if I was at a computer and had me pull up their website, www.mountainquestinn.com, while she told me more about both the place and themselves. She had checked the map and thought we were only a couple of hours away by car. As a travel agent I’m always interested in finding new places to share with my clients so this was intriguing. Then Alex said there was something very special about the land they were on and described a phenomena called the Myst. She promised to share more when we came.

I was really touched and I was excited to share the invitation with my husband, Beau. We accepted and planned our one night getaway two weeks later. We really had no idea what to expect, and we were open to whatever unfolded on our adventure. Alex hadn’t said what about my story had caught her attention, but I suspect it might have been the part where I spoke of a message from Brittany delivered to me by an intuitive. I felt that message had facilitated the process of healing my shattered heart. After recounting that story I had added, “An open heart and open mind have allowed me to receive even more messages, which has opened a whole new world to me.”

The drive was beautiful. We crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains along winding roads until we saw the sign, “Welcome to West Virginia”, and their slogan “Wild and Wonderful”. The Inn wasn’t too much beyond the border in a tiny little dot on the map called Frost.

What we found was amazing. The Bennets are amazing. The Inn is comprised of twelve themed rooms, individually designed and decorated by Alex. They have names like Fantasy Suite and The Old World Cove.  There is a conference and retreat center and an astonishing 27,000 volume non fiction research library that is two stories tall, complete with leather couches and a baby grand piano. Yes, twenty seven THOUSAND books on just about any subject you can imagine. Beau and I stayed in the whimsical Fantasy Suite.

The property, 450 acres of rich grassland, rolling hills and wooded areas is filled with wildlife. It was a sacred hunting ground. There are creeks and springs and a labyrinth created out of local rocks. There is a barn full of horses, two llama, and a goat. The Bennets consider themselves “caretakers of the land”. They lovingly protect and care for it along with all of their animals.

Then there’s the Myst. David and Alex have written two books on the subject; The Myst appears when the weather is just right, there’s no wind at all and Alex sings joyfully. It’s quite magical, yet it’s also explainable by David, a man of Science. I asked Alex  to describe the Myst in one or two sentences. She said it was still really difficult to explain, but gave me these two lines…”Love never dies. The Myst is the gift of seeing and sensing the energies around us, the co-creation of messages from the Universe that present as human faces, angels and symbols.”

The former state slogan “Almost Heaven” was very fitting for our little sojourn to West Virginia. Thank you Alex, David and Andy.

Yes, I have been very blessed this year. The invitation to West Virginia was the first of many wonderful gifts.

Thirteen years ago I didn’t think I’d ever smile or know joy again. I couldn’t imagine how I could love just being alive. As I dream about what the next year will bring and what I will be expressing gratitude for, I am humbly reminded that there is a greater power arranging all of these connections….when our hearts and our minds are open. I’m smiling as I write because I know there are Happy Optimistic Possibilities Everyday for you, too!

“What is truly a part of our spiritual path is that which brings us alive.”
David Steindl-Rast

My heartfelt gratitude goes out to all of you for reading and sharing this page.

Joyfully yours,