Hope is a Pied-Billed Grebe
Last night I told Ray that I thought I had run out of hope.
It’s been over 2 years since I developed an auto-immune disease – one that is supposed to go away someday – and while I am ever so slowly improving, it’s been a long haul.
So wasn’t I surprised this morning when I received my “poem of the day” – the first one I received since I signed up for it as a motivation to get out of bed in the morning.
It is called “Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson.
It made me think of all the time I have spent bird watching this past year. All those peaceful moments when I’ve been privileged to witness the most interesting bird behaviours.
I’ve started to notice things that went unnoticed before. Like this tiny little Pied-Billed Grebe who apparently has been here all along but I’ve neglected to see.
Isn’t he just the most adorable little guy ever?
I noticed this tiny little bird, that only weighs about a pound, swimming all by himself through the tall grasses. The ducks now appeared to be giants in the estuary.
I could only see him with my spotting scope until I invested in a used Canon 500mm lens in the fall which enabled me to finally get some photos.
I am trying my best to appreciate the things my auto-immune disease has given me and not just mourn the things it has taken away.
“Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson “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.
Brian Hedges says
After searching the internet for some time, I can say there are no finer photographs of the Pied-Billed Grebe than the ones you have given us today. Bravo!! May you find continued comfort in your exceptional works. And many thanks for the inspirational post!
Anne McKinnell says
Haha, thank you so much Brian! I’m very glad that you enjoyed the photos. I am lucky that we are “stuck” in such a beautiful spot where I can still photograph birds on the estuary. I really love watching their comings and going and it keeps me focussed on the good things. Thanks for your comments 🙂
John Stanley says
Hi Anne, you know I have been following you since before you came down with the auto-immune disease. Your courage facing this devastating disease has been a personal inspiration to me as I have had my own issues. But to the point your post today has shown me there is inspiration for dealing with our problems all around us if we take the time to look for it. You may have never taken the wonderful pictures of the little bird if circumstances hadn’t forced you to view life from a different perspective.
The poem, thou I had never heard it before, fits the images in such a manner as to cause my spirit t0 be drawn to each image as if the little guy was communicating to me, smiling saying “I’m okay now you be okay.” Life isn’t always fair or just and so much of the time we want to be in control (of everything), but your little fellow is saying “Hey I’m getting along just fine.
It is wonderful Anne that you have found a subject that not only posed for some great images but this little ball of fluff also conveys a sense of positiveness.
Anne McKinnell says
Hi John! Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. This little tiny bird really did make a difference to my day, and every time I see him. He’s so vulnerable with the big eagles threatening to pluck him out of the water, yet he seems so happy. Of course I know it is somewhat silly to anthropomorphize birds like that, but he does seem happy!! In any case, he gave me a more positive outlook. Next time I see him I’ll tell him “I’m okay now you be okay” 🙂 Thanks for your comments, always appreciated my friend.
Dave cadwell says
I hope you are getting better. Keep taking photos.
Anne McKinnell says
Thank you Dave! Yes, every so slowly doing the 2 steps forward 1 step back thing. Then sometimes a stall. But yes, I think at least I am not getting worse anymore and that is something. The thing is that there is nothing I can do about it, so wishing it was different doesn’t help. It seems I am continually working on acceptance. Thanks for your comments, I appreciate them.
Suzy Van Camp says
Awwww, a Pied-billed Grebe, I just love those little birds.
Thank you, too, for Emily Dickinson’s poem., “Hope is the thing with feathers.” It inspires me, too, to hang onto hope in spite of health issues. And not mourn the things that have been taken away.
It’s so easy to get discouraged. And then we realize that the “thing with features” is a thing that can FLY. Fly in spirit if not on wings.
I’m so glad you’re improving even though you’d like a faster recovery. Sometimes I tell myself to “surrender to the process.” (Not easy.)
Keep finding little things you can photograph and share with us. We’re with you.
Hang in there!
Anne McKinnell says
Hi Suzy, you are so right about surrendering to the process! It doesn’t matter how much I wish it was going faster, it is going to do whatever it is going to do. I can’t change it. And I’m sure that worrying about it really does make it worse. Thank you for your encouragement, I appreciate it!
Anil Kumar says
Sometimes we didn’t see hope in small thing. which is makeup our mindset to ignorance little things and focus on big achievements.
so I am trying my best to appreciate the things whatever I do.
“Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson it’s inspired me to think more deeper…
Thank you Anne
#mindset #inspiration #motivation #mentalhealth #mindfulness #life