Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Hope" is the Thing with Feathers

I’ve always had a tendency to jump to conclusions, emotionally, if not mentally. So, Logical Me may calmly say to myself, “Things will be alright,” and “You haven’t figured anything out yet for sure,” and “You’ve just barely scratched the surface on what can be done to make Family-of-Two into Family-of-Three,” but that doesn’t do anything for Emotional Me, who’s too busy wailing and crying to hear anything Logical Me is saying.

That is why, even though I know all of those things to be true, I was too upset to go to work yesterday.

It started with trying to call our insurance company (generally a frustrating if not downright upsetting experience for me anyway) to find out if another doctor’s exam for a second opinion would be covered by our insurance. It is, but it took me my peace of mind to find that out.

And somewhere in all the waiting on the line, I became more and more convinced that at least for the day I could not face the myriads of munchkins and their pregnant moms at the library. Normally I love all of our children’s programs and I love interacting with all the young moms.

But not yesterday.

So, I called in sick. I figure that being sick at heart is still just being sick.

But while sitting at home, working on our ESL lesson for our class tonight, I found this little gem of a poem, a poem that I have loved since college but had forgotten about until now. Normally Emily Dickinson isn’t the cheeriest of writers, but this little poem makes me happy. It puts a picture to what I want to have inside me and what I want others to see in me. And I would like to share it with you:

 “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,

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.

--Emily Dickinson


  1. I've always loved that poem. Have you read Martin Luther's "Feelings Come and Feelings Go"? It helped Emotional Heather out a lot of days last year when Rational Heather seemed to have taken a vacation.

    “Feelings come and feelings go,
    And feelings are deceiving;
    My warrant is the Word of God--
    Naught else is worth believing.

    Though all my heart should feel condemned
    For want of some sweet token,
    There is One greater than my heart
    Whose Word cannot be broken.

    I'll trust in God's unchanging Word
    Till soul and body sever,
    For, though all things shall pass away,
    ― Martin Luther

  2. What a beautiful poem. And Heather's is none too shabby either :)