Once upon a time there was a little woman who walked along the dusty field-path. She was quite
old yet but her steps were light and springy and her smile had the fresh glow of a carefree
girl. She stopped at a cowered figure and looked down. She couldn’t recognize much.
The being that sat in the dirt on the path seemed to be almost bodiless. She reminded of a grey
flannel blanket with human shape. The little woman bent a little forward and asked: ”Who are
you?” Two almost lifeless tired eyes looked up towards her. “Me? I am the Sadness”, whispered
the voice haltingly and softly, almost too soft to hear.
“Oh, the Sadness!” said the woman pleased as if she would greet an old friend. “You know me?”
asked the Sadness mistrusting. “Of course I know you! You accompanied me every once in a
while over and over again on parts of my path.” “Yes, but…”, said the Sadness suspicious,
“why don’t you run away from me? Aren’t you afraid?”
“Why should I run from you, my dear? You know very well yourself that you catch on with
everybody who tries to get away from you. But, what I wanted to ask you: Why do you look so
“I am … sad”, replied the grey figure with broken voice. The little woman sat down at her
side. “So, you are sad”, she said and nodded with understanding. “Tell me what bothers you.”
The Sadness sighed deeply. Was there really someone who would like to listen to her this
time? How often did she wish for that already to happen. “You know”, she started hesitantly
and very astonished, “it’s just that nobody actually likes me. It is my destiny to visit
humans for a while but when I show up they are scared of me. They are afraid of me and
try to avoid me like the pest.”
The Sadness swallowed some tears. “They invented phrases that they try to ban me with. They
say things like: Nonsense, I can’t be sad. Life is always bright and fun. And their fake
smiles give them stomach cramps and a hard time breathing. They say: Praised what makes us
tough and then they end up with heartache. They say one just has to put himself together
and then they feel all kinds of aches and pain in their shoulders and their backs.
They say: Only weak people cry and the banked up tears almost make their heads burst. Or
they try to numb themselves with alcohol or drugs so that they don’t have to feel me.”
“Oh yes”, confirmed the old woman, “I met people like that before.” The Sadness turned even
sadder “but all I want is to help humans. When I am very close to them they can face
themselves. I help them building a nest to cuddle up in to take care of their wounds.
Somebody who is sad has very thin skin. Old sorrows surface again like a bad healed wound
and that can hurt a lot.
But only who is able to face his grief and sorrow and cries all the uncried tears can truly
make his wounds heal. People don’t want me to help them though. Instead they put on a flashy
smile on top of their scars. Or they put on a heavy shield of bitterness”. The Sadness was
silent now. Her crying was weak first then it became stronger and finally it was very
The little, old woman hugged her, caressed the shaky bundle and thought to herself how soft
and gentle she felt. “Cry, Sadness, let your tears flow”, she whispered full of love, “Rest
so that you can gather your strength back. From now on you shall not wander all by yourself.
I will join you so that discouragement and despair can’t take over anymore.”
The Sadness quit crying. She looked her new companion straight in the eyes: “But… but – who
“Me?” said the old lady with a smile on her face und then she laughed again like a carefree young girl.
“I am HOPE.”