Fly Little Hope Birds: A Love Note to My Coworkers

Jazzlynne Allensworth, FCNI Higher Ed Administrator
February, 16, 2022 -

Emily Dickinson wrote:
"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.”

I’ve always liked the beginning of this poem, but feel that Dickinson’s bird must be different from mine. 

If hope is a little bird, mine asks a lot of me. In fact, I’m sure she is one of those constantly squawking birds that never shuts up; she always wants me to do something. May your hope bird be extra sassy, too, because with all that emphatic noise, she is the best motivator. After all, doesn’t the word “aspire” sound like it also has wings, like it could lift you off the ground? Perhaps an aspiration is hope fed direction, and that’s why it calls for you to rise. 

Rising requires growth and change. Consider your purpose, which is really just your hope in full flight, all grown up, pushing you along. And when you feed your purpose even more direction, it becomes your big fat mission bird. Your mission--all those matured aspirations--urge you to act in a way that will help you fulfill your purpose.

At Family Care Network, we all fly around trying to help others, to create connections, and to serve. That’s our collective mission. But each of us has our own personal mission-birds inside. Each of us flies in from a different angle with differently colored feathers and a different flare. Each of us must adjust to unexpected winds and navigate through unexpected storms. And each of us must find rest, must lean on others when necessary, and practice our own self-reflection to be able to help others. 

No matter where your hope bird is flying today, ground back down to her. Consider where your aspirations have taken you and how change has shaped you. Realign with your mission and stay the course, my friends.