Hope is the thing with feathers

I caught this bird basking on the golden branches of a tree and it struck me

How large the bird was, and how slender and fragile the branches.

Sometimes, life feels like that: the heavy weight of a burden

Sitting on the fragile tree of life.

You don’t think you can support the weight. But you do.

Because just like that lovely tree, we are stronger than we realize.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all.

— Emily Dickinson

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42 responses

  1. what a wonderful post and so true!!

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 17:24

  2. I used to love that bit of Emily Dickinson, and I had forgotten it. Thank you for reminding me. Now it is new again, and I can love it once more.
    Your photo is beautiful, and the bird does look too big for the fragile branches.
    Thank you for visiting my blog. I do love to have visitors!

    Kay, Alberta

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 17:37

  3. cat

    Beautiful photo and wise words 🙂

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 17:53

  4. You’ve got such a good eye. The branch does look to small for a big bird. It seems the bird had more faith in the tree than I would have.

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 18:21

  5. Di

    I adore just about anything Emily Dickinson ever wrote. Lovely post!

    Di

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 18:33

  6. Blu

    A wonderful metaphor, and wise words, I am always sad when someone feels that the weight is too heavy and cannot go on.

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 18:51

  7. Beautiful metaphor.

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 18:57

  8. It always fascinates me how they can balance on tree limbs and phone lines. What a beautiful story and verse to match.

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 18:58

  9. smiles. it is a great hope to rest one…lovely anology and picture…

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 19:58

  10. Your photo is like a wonderful painting. So simple but so complex. Well chosen quote too.

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 20:02

  11. You lifted my soul!

    Warm Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 21:10

  12. Very well said!

    Nubbin wiggles,
    Oskar

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 22:38

  13. Al

    Very nice post. I love seeing birds in the wild.

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 22:41

  14. One of my very favorite poems. And your analogy is also very apt. Heavy burdens borne by fragile branches, yet those branches are often stronger than we realize.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog for a visit!

    Like

    October 9, 2010 at 23:08

  15. Your metaphor is apt, Fi – I’m so glad it’s true.

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 00:08

  16. Gorgeous!

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 01:14

  17. I needed this reminder today….

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 01:52

  18. You do have such a knack for these profound and inspiring posts! Thanks!

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 02:00

  19. Beautifully said, beautifully photographed.

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 05:27

  20. Beautiful image and one of my favorite Emily poems!

    A wonderful Sunday to you,
    Merisi

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 09:14

  21. Light as a feather!

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 11:39

  22. Beautiful photo and words.

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 12:43

  23. Well-chosen words to accompany your photo. Yup, I feel that way right now as I’m waiting to schedule two important orthopedic surgeries. I’ll try to “think” like the bird!! PS. Thanks for visiting my camera critter blog yesterday.

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 12:44

  24. lilalia

    Magical post, a precarious balance of lightness, hope, and poetry. Thanks.

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 13:44

  25. fe

    what a lovely post 🙂

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 14:33

  26. I love to feel nature surrounding you and the seasons changing in Sweden.

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 15:24

  27. I always wonder how a huge crow can perch on the tip top of a fragile branch, but never thought to put together the wonderful metaphor that you did. Now whenever I see such a bird in a tree, I’ll think of you.

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 22:51

  28. Emily sure had a wonderful way with words!

    Like

    October 10, 2010 at 22:57

  29. excellent photo and a timely reminder.

    Like

    October 11, 2010 at 00:41

  30. I needed to hear that again tonight. Thank you.

    Like

    October 11, 2010 at 02:47

  31. Just lovely! I, too, needed to hear this so thank you from me, as well. I hope your week will be extra special.

    Like

    October 11, 2010 at 03:10

  32. I love the quote and how right you are! :0)

    Like

    October 11, 2010 at 06:15

  33. Lovely, Fi! A perfect post to read at the end of my day — joyful~

    Like

    October 11, 2010 at 06:46

  34. Beautiful words and a cute little critter to illustrate.

    Erika B

    Like

    October 11, 2010 at 07:28

  35. Ash

    Beautiful and uplifting ( pun-intended!)

    Like

    October 11, 2010 at 13:02

  36. Well done! Someone was telling me the very same thing the other day!

    Like

    October 11, 2010 at 13:53

  37. Great sentiments. And birds are surprisingly light, aren’t they?!

    Like

    October 11, 2010 at 14:23

  38. We are indeed stronger than we realise – oh but sometimes the tests are a bit too much.

    Like

    October 11, 2010 at 14:29

  39. Your pic didn’t download – will try later. Love that poem by Emily D.

    Like

    October 11, 2010 at 17:18

  40. Lovely image and the Dickinson poem goes with it perfectly!

    Like

    October 13, 2010 at 15:18

  41. Lovely. And yes, all we need to do is persevere and we find we are after all strong enough to deal with whatever-it-happens-to-be ..

    Like

    October 14, 2010 at 14:50

  42. You make it all sound so beautiful..with the skinny little birds..what about the huge heavy Eagles that try to sit on tiny branches and bust them off..the buggers anyway:(

    Like

    October 16, 2010 at 03:52

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