the thing with feathers

I had time apart.

I was in the thick of the north woods mucking around in ice-rimed mud, breathing in the crisp of the air and the blue of the sky and two grouse showed themselves in that terrifying wing-thrum they have.  They were vexed by our presence and glorious.

Later that day while in town I looked up and not ten feet above was a bald eagle.   I was blessed by winged power and amazing grace.

As dusk was falling and the lake called for attentive presence, I was lakeside when a whirr of wings drew my eyes to a lone tree.  There, in the skeleton of a foliage-naked perch was an owl.  She sat there, surveying the vast of the lake and the deepening of the night and I felt the vibrations of the Holy sing sing sing in my soul as stars came out to join the chorus of wonder.

We live in the midst of the Holy.  Every day, every moment this is so.  Poet Emily Dickinson says that “hope is the thing with feathers”, and so it is.  And, hope is the thing watchful and still and deep and taloned and vast in its sweep.

And it surprises sometimes, this thing called hope.

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