The Watering Hole; Thursday May 29 2014; Springtime, Feathers, and Hope

Busy week, this one. No more snow; gentle rains; sunshine; green leaves and grass; Springtime in the Rockies, I think some have called it. Life returns, renewed; the world is vibrant once again! So, why mess with politics when ‘out there’ things are actually ALIVE!

I did it. Hoping for a sojourn in a different and more pleasant world, I took a break. Took a camera too, along with a slow early morning walk around the local lake. In the process I enjoyed numerous engaging interacts with feathered friends, i.e. dozens of Canadian Goose moms and pops, most with their still-fuzzy youngsters in tow.  Fascinating to watch how their real world works, and then to realize that even an hour or so of mingling within it can serve to change one’s outlook, to remove that veil of drudgery and offer hints that there still is room to Hope for better times out here in our world.

I have to wonder, now, looking back, if maybe Emily Dickinson might have described the bulk of what one finds ‘out there’ in that ‘other’ world when she posited that —

“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.

Feathered critters a metaphor for hope? You betcha! Illustrations below!










“Hope” IS the thing with feathers –

Meanwhile, in the REAL world, there’s been nothing in the news aside from the usual and typical doom and gloom that’s come to pretty much define “civilization” in this country and around the globe, including but sadly not limited to ever-ongoing war and threats (to randomly name just a few) of ever more war; climate change-inspired droughts, wildfires, floods, and killer storms; mass kidnapping of young girls in Nigeria; mass murder of college kids in California; Erick Erickson’s thesis that the war on women is bogus, that the REAL war is the war on masculinity (his, apparently) . . . oh, and lest we forget, there’s that Colorado dinosaur that drowned in Noah’s flood, bones soon to be on display in Kentucky’s currently-under-construction Noah’s Ark Creationist Park, or whatever the hell they call it.

Better the company of that thing with feathers — That perches in the soul — And sings the tune without the words. Interesting how the composite beauties of life in the natural world can still manage to overcome the dismal realities of human failure, can still manage to inspire Hope. I know. I’m a regular visitor ‘out there’ and can testify with authority that in spite of it’s lavish gifts, it has never, in Extremity . . . asked a crumb — of Me.

*honk honk honk*


32 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday May 29 2014; Springtime, Feathers, and Hope

  1. A Bird Came Down

    A bird came down the walk:
    He did not know I saw;
    He bit an angle-worm in halves
    And ate the fellow, raw.

    And then he drank a dew
    From a convenient grass,
    And then hopped sidewise to the wall
    To let a beetle pass.

    He glanced with rapid eyes
    That hurried all abroad,–
    They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
    He stirred his velvet head

    Like one in danger; cautious,
    I offered him a crumb,
    And he unrolled his feathers
    And rowed him softer home

    Than oars divide the ocean,
    Too silver for a seam,
    Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
    Leap, splashless, as they swim.
    Emily Dickinson

    • Emily D. spent most of her adult life as a human hermit, a recluse. She avoided as much of ‘our’ world as she possibly could and spent her life ‘out there’ amongst the birds, bees, and flowers, all frequent topics via which she placed her vision on full poetic display. Here is, in fact, the poem that immediately precedes ‘A bird came down’ in T.H. Johnson’s Dickinson anthology (numbers 327 and 328, resp., written c.1862). Interesting how the bounds of her self-imposed confinement invariably burst each time she wanders into that ‘other’ world ‘out there’, how her vision expands to become nature’s view in contrast with the invariably narrow human view of most everything.

      Before I got my eye put out
      I liked as well to see —
      As other Creatures, that have Eyes
      And know no other way —

      But were it told to me — Today —
      That I might have the sky
      For mine — I tell you that my Heart
      Would split, for size of me —

      The Meadows — mine —
      The Mountains — mine —
      All Forests — Stintless Stars —
      As much of Noon as I could take
      Between my finite eyes —

      The Motions of the Dipping Birds —
      The Morning’s Amber Road —
      For mine — to look at when I liked —
      The News would strike me dead —

      So safer — guess — with just my soul
      Upon the Window pane —
      Where other Creatures put their eyes —
      Incautious — of the Sun —

    • Hmm, great idea – refusing the mail with a bill will send them to collections! That’s a real world problem. Feeling threatened by an inanimate object (stamp) is nuts.

    • The American Family Association directs its members to refuse mail bearing the new Harvey Milk stamp.

      Wow, you could really mess with these people if you wanted to spend about $100.

  2. Is it not strange that every right-wing group with “family” in their name wants to deny others the right to have a family? Is it not even stranger that those with “liberty” or “freedom” in their names are almost always devoted to barring others from their liberties and freedoms?

    • Same here…I was in third grade when he was assassinated. I was so enthralled by him. A true hero of mine. Kennedy, the race against the Soviets to get the moon the Mercury Seven, space capsules and splash-downs in the ocean. What excitement for a young man!!!

      • I’d turned 21 precisely one month before he was shot. I heard the first bulletin on my car radio on the way home from biochemistry class: “We interrupt this program with a bulletin from Dallas, Texas: President Kennedy has been shot. Stay tuned for further details as they become available.” Ten minutes later, the update said JFK was dead.

        The country has been on the downhill slope ever since, currently picking up speed in the plunge. Not fun to watch. Glad I’m an old geezer.

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