‘Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul.’
~ Emily Dickinson
This morning I am thinking about Emily Dickinson’s poem about a small bird who survives cold, storms, gales and exhile. The bird who is symbolic of human frailty, and also of human hope and optimism in the face of adversity.
I am thinking about Emily Dickinson’s bird of hope.
I am thinking of that small winged creature, and I am sucking in lungful after lungful of filth here in China.
I am watching plastics float past in the ocean.
I am looking at a sky so grey with pollution that you cannot see the sun. The skyline is obscured and everything is hazy. I keep blinking my eyes, but the blur never clears.
My watch beeps a warning at me as the air pollution moves from a yellow warning to red. Exposure is hazardous, it tells me. Go back inside.
It was like this back at home too, before we left on our vacation. The smoke from the Australian bushfires, and the dust that is the topsoil of our drought-ravaged farms had rendered my world apocalyptical.
I am lonesome for the sky. I am lonesome for the blessing of clean air, and clear blue horizons. I am aching for breeze that has a salt tang, or the smell of good rich soil, or the fragrance of blossoms or leaves or rain.
I am surrounded by a wealth of technology, of architectural marvels, and a bounty of consumer goods.
But today I am impoverished for want of clean air and clear skies and the power of a natural world unburdened by our ignorance and arrogance.
We have always been a resilient race. A problem-solving race. And so the bird of hope and optimism beating in my own heart today is this – that there souls here on earth working on solutions to this pollution, that we can find a way forward that lets us experience the blessing of clean air and clean oceans and nature’s beauty before we destroy everything before us in the name of jobs, progress, consumerism and economic growth.
Much love, Nicole xx