I have always been fascinated with the poetry of Emily Dickinson. I even did a biographical report on her as a kid.
(I know, I was probably a weird poetry-geek of a kid, but the fact remains… this was a rare poet.)
Her poem about hope still blows me away every time…
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
During this season when the world is “supposed” to be celebrating, it seems like a good time to hear from this poet who (I learned from that biographical report I wrote) in no way lived a life of ease. If “the thing with feathers” perched in HER soul, in spite of poverty, poor health, loneliness and a complicated love relationship, then it can certainly find a home in my heart and yours. Storms, it seems, only make that thing hunker down and settle in for the long haul.
If circumstances find you in “the chillest land” or “the strangest sea” right now, I pray that Hope’s undemanding Presence will sing sweetly to the very depths of you… and never stop at all.