Back at my daughter’s home, and we just heard my son in law (a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America) is with a couple in a hospital grieving the loss of their one year old daughter. Yesterday we left my oldest son’s home with a hug and a tear after we spent a weekend grieving over the anniversary of the loss of their daughter (my granddaughter; Elizabeth Joy).
Emily Dickinson describes hope as a bird (“the thing with feathers”) that perches in the soul. There, it sings wordlessly and without pause. The song of hope sounds sweetest “in the Gale,” and it would require a terrifying storm to ever “abash the little Bird / That kept so many warm.” Dickinson says that she has heard the bird of hope “in the chillest land— / and on the strangest Sea—”, but never, no matter how extreme the conditions, did it ever ask for a single crumb from her.
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.