Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hope is the thing with feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all

Emily Dickinson

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.


  1. Lovely words and sentiments. I hadn't heard Dickinson's words before. I often travel the seashore finding treasures and it's fun to display at home. Heading your way soon and will visit Meadow Farms that you mentioned on your blog.

  2. Trusting God to mend, restore, and renew...words to live by.

  3. The description of prayer from the novel is perfect.

  4. Oh that last quote perfectly describes the experince. Thank you for sharing it. Your collecting things is very charming...

  5. thankyou for your beautiful post, words and photo. They really are a gift.
    Thank you also for stopping by my blog through Mosaic Monday. I am sorry I have taken so long to reply.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  6. So beautiful. And, how often the the words fall short...these past two weeks many times my prayers were brought back to simply "Thy will be done".
    I need to save this quote. Thank you.

  7. Hello,

    Love feathers!

    ~ Gabriela ~

  8. I have a handmade bookmark, a gift from a friend, with those same words; it is like meeting someone you know in a distant place to find them here...
    Thank you!

  9. wow... those words by Ellis Peters are beautiful. Expressed so well.

    I love the Emily Dickinson quote too.

    A joy stopping by to visit with you!
    Kindly, Lorraine

  10. The Ellis Peters quote is superior. It reminds me of the scripture about the groanings of the Spirit. He intercedes when we don't know what to pray. And hope as a feather is so wonderfully Emily Dickinson!

    Thank you for an inspirational post.

    Blessings, Debbie

  11. Thank you for such lovely quotes. I am going to keep them and use them myself.

  12. Truly prayer takes many forms . . . these quotes are both among my favourites. Thanks for the reminder.

  13. Both quotes are new to me and they're lovely. Saved for future reference.

  14. I'm going to write this quote in my journal! I see feathers when I take my walks and never know what to think! Now I can ponder on this quote! ♥

  15. Very lovely poem!
    And the feather-image remind me on my mother who was a great feather collector, from all kind of birds, whenever she found one, wherever in the world (she was a real traveller around the world)!
    Really beautiful, Lorrie!


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