On Healing & Hope

By Julia Hawkins, Administrative Assistant for Engagement

First, I would like to say to those of you reading this: we may be battered and bruised, but we’re still here. There is more ahead, as there always is, but we got this far. I invite you to take a moment – just a moment – to feel gratitude. Gratitude for the body that carried you through a pandemic, for a mind that sees you through the painful realities of our nation and for a heart that beats steadily on.

We are grieving, collectively and individually, for the loss of so many things. We bear wounds both new and old. I wish I could say that our healing is beginning, and things will only get better. I can’t. Grief is not linear. Some days, we will feel full and happy and open. On others, we will only feel empty.

Still, in this new season, slowly emerging from a blanket of darkness and chill, I can’t help but feel hopeful. Like a tender new seedling emerging from the ground, I am searching for the light. I can see it in the generosity of neighbors who wake up at 6:00 AM to shovel everyone’s sidewalk. I see it through the eyes of a close friend, who, in March, will bring a new life into the world. I see it, too, as I scroll through social media posts proudly showing off new hobbies and creations.

I am not sure how to end this column, so I am going to borrow my final words from one of my favorite poems:

“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.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers, by Emily Dickinson

This article was originally published in the Kaleidoscope Spring 2021 issue.