a folk art bird
Our Ohio State Bird – the Cardinal
There is a poem which has been running through my head a lot lately – one by Emily Dickenson. In my bedroom hangs a small picture with the word “Hope” on it and a lot of folk art drawing around it, with a bird in the center. I think perhaps this alludes back to her famous poem.
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 haven’t written about this in my blog, but some of you know already. In mid-August I was diagnosed with cancer which was called metastatic melanoma. The first book I picked up to read about this called it the Tyrannosaurus Rex of cancers. Not what I wanted to hear, and not perhaps always accurate. In any event, I’ve been undergoing what felt like thousands of tests, but actually were only eight, and two surgeries, and they have not found any more cancer so far. So thus far, I’ve been very lucky. I’ve also had a host of people praying for me! Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist and even a Muslim who works near Chicago with a friend of my son’s who asked everyone he works with to pray for me. (They do high level work for a global security firm which I had not imagined to be such a spiritual powerhouse. Who knew? ;-> We live and learn.)
I am grateful to everyone who was praying, sending “maudvibes” (from friends from the Maud Hart Lovelace discussion list) or well wishes. They all made me feel very supported. And perhaps this affects the immune system, too.
At any rate for the moment life goes on, this precious fragile life, this astonishing gift we share and should never ignore. No. We should open our eyes every second to its wonders and blessings. No one lasts forever, and indeed, I might die in a car accident tomorrow. But for the moment, that little bird, Hope, is singing me the sweetest songs you can imagine. (a postscript – I see my last bird image is the blue jay which has not perhaps the sweetest song of all warblers, not being a warbler at all. Indeed of all the birds I know only the Great Blue Heron and the Peacock have more raucous unmusical voices. But I will leave this image because the blue jay is part of life, and so am I and all of you. And all our songs are beautiful if we know how to listen deeply and really well.)
Bluejay from Ohio