Sunday, January 01, 2017

For 2017, That 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  
I start this year discouraged. I'm discouraged that smart is dumb, and dumb is smart. That saying and doing hateful things is right, and checking your mouth and actions out of common decency is wrong. That looking backward to some fantasyland bygone age is where we should be headed, but looking to the future with clear-eyed understanding of how the world functions in the 21st century based on scientific knowledge (and I'd say, God-given scientific knowledge) is ridiculed. So, yes, the start of 2017 finds me deeply discouraged.

What I'm left with on this first day of a new year is that thing with feathers, hope. A cardinal-in-the-snow type of hope. Hope exemplified every day by the little children in my life, by colleagues, by family and friends near and far, by mere acquaintances - all loving and living out the good. The true good.

My New Year's plan is to keep my eyes turned toward the good that gives me hope. I'm going to hang on tight to the folks who reach out to help, not hurt. Who speak with respect and love, not hate and bigotry. Who foster understanding, not humiliation. That's the best I can do in these times. Maybe if enough of us do that, then that thing with feathers can flourish and give us a better song to sing.

Happy New Year, all!