Sunday, September 16, 2012

Letting hope take wing . . .

"Hope is the thing with feathers --"

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Emily Dickinson is a wonderful poet, no doubt, but I have to confess that I do not agree with her on the subject of hope--unless the feathers she had in mind were attached to an eagle.

Hope is a feeling that is at the root of feeling human.  It lifts the spirit; it is a beacon on the darkest night.  But hope must be more than feathers.  It must have hands and feet and a voice.  Without them, hope is little more than a wish waiting on a benevolent fairy godmother.  I like the idea of someone else working to make my wish come true, but I'm too impatient to wait.

Hope must be like a spur to a horse's flank.  It must make me get up and work, so here's a few thoughts on hope:

Hope is that thing with tiny leaves leaning toward the light.

Hope is three blackberries the first year.

Hope is building a nest on a ceiling fan.

Hope is a break in the clouds.

Hope is hay rolls for winter.

Hope is jars of home-pickled pickles.

Hope is freshly turned earth.
Dickinson said that hope asked nothing of her, but I don't have her kind.  My hope asks everything of me.  Hope and hard work go hand-in-hand, and that's just fine by me.

How do you hope?


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