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Hints of Hope

Guest Author: 
Jean Wise

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul—
and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.”

Emily Dickinson

I spotted the first robin a few weeks ago.

The return of the seasonal birds in my area announces the coming of spring. A welcomed sight after a cold, snowy winter.

The next day I saw a deer, an opossum, and a raccoon. The animals were waking and starting to move—another muffled whisper of spring.

Yet the weather remained dreary, the winds chilly, and gray clouds hid the sun. Winter persisted. The frozen ground imprisoned spring flowers. I began to wonder if the animals were wrong.

But the birds knew better weather was coming, even if no human could see it yet. The animals sensed the hints of spring. That first robin sat on the fragile branch of hope and sang.

Life is difficult much of the time. Concerns weigh upon our hearts. We face challenges and obstacles not of our choosing. Like the buried seeds, we feel detained in darkness and just want to escape into the freedom of fresh air and sunlight.

The positive practice of holding onto hope brings us patience and persistence. We cling to the hints that things will get better and sing along with those early birds.

Hope is fragile and powerful at the same time. Hope can be elusive, hard to hold onto in changing circumstances, yet hope brings the right glimmer of light to help us see beyond the current moment.

I can’t imagine a life without hope. I couldn’t survive winter without knowing spring will return. I love to watch for that first robin perch on the bare skeleton of my backyard lilac bush and sing about the unseen arrival of blossoms.

We can choose despair or hope.

I choose hope.

Jean Wise is a writer, blogger, speaker, and retreat leader. She is a spiritual director and a Deacon in the Lutheran tradition (ELCA). She writes twice a week on her blog, Healthy Spirituality. Jean lives in Edon, Ohio, USA, with her husband enjoying their empty nest as their three adult children have flown the coop.



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