Monday, August 11, 2014

The White Feather

The White Feather

If the afternoon had not been so hot, with a sun so relentless, then perhaps I would not have chosen the hat with the widest brim.   I might even have gone hatless, preferring instead to let the wind blow my hair as I took in the expansive green vistas of an early August day.  Maybe I would have been looking up. 
Up through the trees to the blue sky beyond.
 Up where the mockingbirds chase the red-shouldered hawks away from their nests.
 Up where the  clouds draw grand pictures at the gates of  heaven.   
I would have been studying those pictures perhaps, trying to decide what they were -
 A castle? A dragon?  
Spinning wheel?  
But I wore the wide-brimmed hat to hide from the sun and my view winnowed down to the earth at my feet.  
Focused, sharpened, my eyes wrapped around the smaller things:
 the acorns, the pebbles - blue violets, green moss.  
And then, there it was,
 pinned to the ground by a shaft of sunlight falling hard through the trees,
 white as bone, light as the air. 
A feather.
I bent to pick it up.
Stronger than it looked at first sight, each tiny white strand clasped together along the quill, like hands.
 So sadly grounded, still ready for flight.  
Too small for a wren, a robin, or thrush.
Had it dropped from the wing of a gull, or an owl?
Or perhaps from my guardian angel, in an effort to prove that she’s there.

Now it sits in a vase on my desk.
I run my fingers down the ruffled edge at least once a day.
Not to remind myself of flight that has ended, 
but flight that has yet to be.


  1. Oh what a beautiful thoughtful flight of fancy about your feather. Perhaps it is from your guardian angel.

  2. I loved this! Such a soaring of imagination. What a lovely poem, and what a lovely reminder of the experience.

  3. A pinion "pinned to the ground by a shaft of sunlight falling hard through the trees..." A really nice line, Pamela.

  4. Love flights that have yet to be...xx

  5. WOW....LOVED that..thank you Hope IS a thing with feathers..xoxo

  6. Your feather story puts me in mind of the movie Forest Gump. The feather was seen at the beginning and end of the movie and was perhaps symbolism for the passage of time, fate or destiny. Your feather apparently invokes feelings of peace and tranquility, or as you say, flights yet to be.

  7. This took my breath away, Pamela; and ode to joy - or a psalm. Beautiful.

  8. Oh such an inspirational account Pamela. A single beautiful feather.....the smallest of life and its miracles!

    The Arts by Karena

  9. The white feather was a symbol of cowardice in WW1 and given to shame men into enlisting in the British Army by persuading women to present them with a white feather if they were not wearing a uniform.

  10. I uttered Penny's very words upon reading your latest entry: "This took (takes) my breath away!" What an exquisite marriage of prose and poetry, Pamela! You will always remember how you acquired this little feather…and so will we. Perfection...

  11. So often our guardian angels give us these small signs of their existence and people just pass them by. I am so glad you are of the other kind.Your writing so often resonates deeply with me.

  12. I have a tiny vase full of just such feathers Pamela.

  13. How odd.........just today I pined an envelope to my gate for the gardener and what floated down from the sky but............a white feather!

  14. Butterflies hover and feathers appear, whenever lost loved ones or Angels are near.

  15. I do believe in spirits, sometimes a strong smell, a brush on your arm in your sleep.
    Yes, maybe the feather was a sign from a loving Gull with a message.
    Pam, this was written so beautifully. yvonne

  16. Pamela,
    Such a lovely post. I always take the time to pick up feathers. I love seeing the different ones I find during the summer...sometimes undoubtedly from small birds that have had a scuffle with the black birds in our area.

  17. Pamela..........Great post........Gracious what a delightful mindful flight of extravagant about your plume.

    Property Buyer in UK


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