lessons learned:  what forgotten plants can teach us about hope
lessons learned: what forgotten plants can teach us about hope

lessons learned: what forgotten plants can teach us about hope

As I continue to sit with “Hope” this week, I thought I would repost this one.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
~from “‘Hope’ Is the Thing with Feathers” by Emily Dickinson
This morning, I stumbled across the dark basement to reach for the laundry room light.  In the midst of my fumbling new green leaves on busharound, I uncovered 3 plants I had bought 2 weeks ago.  They are packaged at the roots so they won’t dry out, but they had not been nurtured since they arrived at my home.  I looked at them with the guilt a busy mother sometimes feels about ignoring her children–how did my life get so hectic that I could not make time for one thing I love so much?  Immediately, I watered them and took them over to the windows so they could have a bit of sunlight.
As I set them down, I examined them.  I was worried they might be beyond repair, but then I noticed something.  There, amidst some of the dead leaves on outside branches were small, fresh green leaves unfolding to be welcomed by the water and sunlight.  My first thought, “YES! I have not killed them,” but then I realized something else–a feeling of hope had flooded my body and washed away any disappointment I had about forgetting them.  Looking at those spring green leaves reminded me how small pieces of nature can often inspire a sense of belief when we least expect it.  Hope doesn’t have to come in the form of a miracle to fill us with wonder and faith.
When I think about hope, I often return to the poem by Emily Dickinson that I learned in high school.  When I read it, I am reminded of the little brown wren that sits in the hedge by my driveway.  In spite of snow, rain, or lack of seed, he sings to me every morning as I leave for work.  I am grounded by his gentle reminder that sometimes the small gifts are the ones that perch within our soul and fill our spirit with renewal and peace.

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