Featherless Hope

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—

…And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
~Emily Dickinson from Poem 254

The end of the school year is the season of barely feathered hope in my world.  The academic nest is crowded, the competition fierce, the future uncertain.  Those who have struggled to survive in classes, in debt, in relationships, in a tenuous job market,  can find themselves ill equipped and unprepared to fly on their own.  Their lack of feathering becomes obvious the closer they get to the edge.  Bashed and abashed, they worry and panic, sleep little, self-medicate, cry easily, contemplate death.   Sometimes they tumble.

We try to catch them before they fall.

We remind them: it takes only one feather to have hope in a soaring future of grace and strength.  Only one.

The others will come.

And when they do, they will be beautiful.
crowdedout

One thought on “Featherless Hope

  1. I found a dead featherless baby bird on the porch two days ago … it didn’t affect anyone else even with my sad anouncement to a few that were here that day …. that it has fallen from a nest that was in the house eves … Now one else cared but me … I found it hard to pick it up and allow it to be tossed aside … instead I felt the need to place it in a tiny box and bury it next to my sweet old dog I lost in Feb… I know as I age I am getting very emotional about simple things … after all that bird will never sing to me in the morning and I cherish the morning songs I hear from the birds in the yard … longing for less pain in the world for both small and large creatures . Peggy in eastern Wash .

    Like

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