You know how when you start thinking about something -- a specific brand of car when you're interested in a new car, for example -- you start seeing it everywhere?
Well. I'm thinking that might be the case for hope, too. Because now that I'm looking for it, I'm finding it (in little pieces, at least) more often.
Just little bits of it.
Here and there.
I've been playing around with the word "hope" this week. The definition. The way we use it in everyday speech. That kind of thing.
Turns out, hope . . . is a Really Useful Word! Noun, verb, proper noun, adjective, adverb. It shows up everywhere, all the time. A word with many uses.
I think, in my case - right now, I'm looking for a . . . thing.
As a noun.
"A desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment."
(Yep. That's it.)
I've also been thinking about all the ways we talk about hope . . . without actually using the word hope.
Things are looking up . . .
The light at the end of the tunnel . . .
Seeing through rose-colored lenses . . .
Keeping the faith . . .
The cup is half-full . . .
She's a real Pollyanna . . .
Look on the bright side . . .
It's everywhere in our language!
It's an interesting word, that's for sure. Fun to play around with. Poets, of course, have a field day with hope. I've got a poem for you today that I'm sure you already know. But, when you're thinking about what hope IS . . . you need this poem in your toolbox.
"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.
--- Emily Dickinson
Right now, hope feels elusive -- that "thing with feathers that perches in the soul."
I felt some glimmers of hope now and again this week.
Did you find any hope in the dark spaces this week?
My best wishes to all of you . . . for a weekend filled with peace and solace, time to rest -- and things that bring you joy. (And maybe some poetry, too.)
Don't forget to look for hope. (And let me know if you find some.)
Today's poem was published in The Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by R.W. Franklin, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999. Information about the poet can be found here.