What fills you with hope as you go through your day? I know for me it’s often a beautiful, unexpected flower, an awe inspiring sunset or rainbow, or a flock of birds flying across a clear blue sky. For the Emily Dickinson lovers among us we would have read that ‘Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul’ Emilys love of nature inspired so many beautiful words and I often imagine her sat in a beautiful spot in the countryside, watching a bird as she wrote that poem that has touched so many.
When I moved to the Peak District their were 3 things that I was longing to see, an Owl, a Badger and a Hedgehog. I got to see my Owls, and loved nothing more than listening to the ‘twit twoos’ as I fell asleep at night, such an eerie yet also calming sound.
I did see a few Badgers but sadly only on the road as their life had ended rather abruptly. It seemed unlikely that on quiet country roads Mr Badger would decide to cross just at the wrong moment, but I guess it happens. Lastly I hoped to see a Hedgehog. I have a lovely photo of myself as a child crouched down next to a hedgehog as he enjoys a saucer of milk. Of course now we are told that milk isn’t good for them, but in my mums day it was the done thing. I think that might have been the last time I saw one, until yesterday.
At the moment I am living with Simon for a little while back in the City, and the morning walks are rather different to my walking through winding country roads with only sheep and cattle for company. Its a bit of a shock to the system but he does live next to a lovely big park so there is still beauty to be found, and to my total surprise and amazement I got to see my Hedgehog.
I had just started walking across a bridge with Jess (sadly with no camera to hand) and there he was ambling along in his spikey, wobbly, hedgehog way, sniffing at the ground with seemingly not a care in the world. I was as you can imagine filled with a childlike excitement and as I held on to Jess to avoid a spiky ‘dog vs hedgehog’ moment I was also filled with an overwhelming sense of hope.
Beauty can be found anywhere if we only take the time to look. Unexpected moments in life are often just around the corner, and Mother Nature so often has a way of lifting our sprits to keep us moving forward, even when we are not sure where we are heading.
I sat and watched for a good ten minutes as the cute little fellow eventually wobbled his way under a bush and began to bury himself under some leaves. Of course I rushed back for my camera and on returning could still hear him making himself comfortable but sadly he was too sleepy to pose for a photo.
So you see Hope is not only ‘the thing with feathers’ but also ‘with prickles’. I got the feeling that mother nature had saved that moment for a time when I would need it most. Hope can be found in so many places and at so many different times in our lives, but for me this week, Hope was a Hedgehog and my soul was lifted.
love Alison x