I heard a bird today singing his heart out. Yes, I know, I know it's only February and spring is probably long in coming. But I heard a bird. That's hope. In the midst of wintery thoughts, or gloom of suffering, or sadness, we hear a bird somewhere inside our souls singing hope. It is a bird from our homeland calling. The place where "all tears will be wiped away". I always find it so helpful to think that heaven is right here, "in a twist of the air, in a fold of the skies" as GK Chesterton wrote. We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses if we could only SEE them. By baptism we are made citizens of that city.....we breath the air in that city because we are filled with sanctifying grace. I love to think of all the saints walking with me, standing next to me. It brings the mystery and beauty back to this sad, old, worn out world. They really love us, they are rooting for us, they are laughing and happy in the presence of Jesus and his mother Mary. They seem to whisper with that bird, "further up and furher in" keep going!
I also heard thunder from an unusual set of thunderstorms that are heading this way. I could almost smell that freshness in the air that hails springtime. Not quite, but I almost could. One thing about hard, dark, snowy winters - they make spring so much brighter and longed for.
Once again, Emily Dickinson says it succinctly and yet with absolute loveliness.
Hope is a thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
It sings the words without the tune
And never stops at all.