Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hope is a Thing with Feathers...

So I am already not sticking to my personal pledge of a weekly posting and I’m sure I could conjure various rationalizations and excuses as to why this is as such, but I’ll move forward to the month of June, which I know seems contradictory since we are in July. Alas, June is an exciting month. It signals the end of the spring season here in Pennsylvania and various other Northeastern states and the start of summer. It also generally means hot, sticky weather, the longest day of the year, summer vacations, school’s out, but from a more adult perspective and where I am in my life it also signifies wedding season!

I attended a wedding two weekends ago and it was quite lovely. Since graduating college it seems my husband and I average around 5-10 weddings a year these days, celebrations for our friends and extended families. Weddings are notorious or famous depending on your perspective, for sparking romantic notions, for seeping into the skin serving as some sort of elixir resulting in that warm fuzzy feeling. I do have to admit, it’s wonderful to have someone in your life, especially at weddings because you feel even more engulfed in that warm embrace of romantic love, but all relationships, especially of marriage variety, require much work.

While most people simply enjoy the rose-colored glasses weddings often provide for our outlook on life, I can’t help but reflect on past relationships, whether they are family relationships, friendships or past romances. I’ve experienced heartbreak and pain, but also extreme jubilation and love. I’ve been hurt, really hurt by people who really knew me and knew which buttons to push or where exactly to throw their verbal daggers and I have to remind myself that the culmination of any pain or loss or sorrow I’ve experienced has exalted my happiness. I can move confidently ahead because I know the experiences I’ve felt, good or bad, make me the person I am today.

I’ve been thinking about what it takes to carry these people with me as my life continues to march forward and it of course depends on the person, but why do some friendships fade? Why do certain people come into your life and leave? Then of course there are those you know will be forever inexorably linked to your life, regardless how often you speak to or see them.

All of this rumination about the good, the bad and the ugly of relationships leaves me thinking of hope and specifically one of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson:

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.

I leave you today gently holding hope in the palm of my hand looking towards the sky ready to soar…

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