Throughout my life, I’ve taken little interest in Emily Dickinson’s poetry (a daring admission here in Dickinson’s neighborhood). Until now, that is. Nor did I understand why my mother often referred to Emily Dickinson as her favorite poet. Decades ago, shortly after my move to Amherst with my young daughters, my mother took them to the poet’s homestead. Back home after this outing, my mother’s eyes twinkled devilishly as she recounted posing my little ones on Emily’s bed to snap a photo.
As this dreary winter season unfolds, my spirits wobble dangerously toward despondency. The dark and cold days upon us feel particularly burdensome in the face of Omicron’s temporary dashing of post-pandemic hopes. The terrifying possibility of democracy’s demise, no longer a theoretical musing, but instead an imminent threat as we greet this new year, leaves me quivering with doomsday thoughts.
It is in such a mood that the echo of Emily Dickinson’s reminder — hope is the thing with feathers – popped into my consciousness this morning.
Reaching for hope now — that little Bird That kept so many warm – seems the most important faithful gesture I have the choice to take.
Emily and I invite you to join us.