Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all
Often on my walks I find a feather or two. Gull feathers on the beach, white and gray. Long, glossy black crow feathers near the woods close to our home. Not long ago I noticed these two hawk feathers and picked them up.
I like having bits of nature in my home and my pockets frequently contain a rock, a seashell, an intriguing twig, a pine cone, or, as in this case, a feather. I put them into little dishes and admire them, rotating the displays as whimsy dictates.
Whenever I find a feather, I'm reminded of the above lines from Emily Dickinson. And I'm reminded of the things I most hope for. I know people with huge hurts and I have hopes for them that are hard to express. So I'm reminded of lines from another writer, Ellis Peters, author of the Brother Caedfael mysteries.
" He prayed as he breathed, forming no words and making no specific requests, only holding in his heart, like broken birds in cupped hands, all those people who were
in stress or grief."
And when there are no words, this is how I pray, trusting God to mend, restore, and renew.