While traveling through Tennessee, my husband and I stopped in the quaint town of Leapers Fork to stretch our legs and grab some lunch. Much to our delight, we discovered the town’s population included a variety of artists and locals who genuinely welcomed road weary travelers to sit a spell. Leapers Fork is the kind of town that bids you kick off your shoes, quiet your cell phones, and sit for awhile. Enjoy the fire pit, sing a song or two and by all means try the BBQ.  So, we did just that. All of it.

I have to admit, I felt like I had known these lovely people since I was a child. My husband and I carried on conversations, laughed, were educated in the town’s history, and most importantly, told where to get the best slice of pie which anyone who knows us, understands this is a critical piece of information on any of our road trips.

After a while of bench warming, we walked around and perused the shops and artist studios. While visiting David Arms studio, I stumbled upon a gicleé (which means sprayed ink), titled Hope. What caught my attention was not only the symbolism and depth of his art but the depiction which read, “My home is my nest-the place where I’m content and secure. Even though its delicate, fragile and temporary. But hope makes me long for my “forever” home. A home that is perfect, eternal and waiting for those who believe.” What perfect words to accompany this particular gicleé; a bird’s nest.

After a few minutes of studying and absorbing his prose, I made a mental note to look a little deeper into the meaning of this four letter word, hope. I found out that the word hope is one of the most often used words in the English language, “I hope my dinner is delicious.”, “I hope we are not late.”, “I hope the baby sleeps in a little in the morning.”, “I hope…, I hope…..”.

Per Merriam-Webster, hope is defined as, “To want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true”, and personally, seems a little dry.  For me, hope feels as light as a butterfly. Hope lifts my spirit skyward, fills it with anticipation of something greater, or something special I have longed for but not yet came across. I am not sure what I would do if hope were diluted so much that it became something I only wanted to be true, something that could happen or be true. For me, that dulls my emotional attachment to the word. So from this day forward, I will align my philosophy with Emily Dickinson’s, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tunes without the words and never stops at all.”

I did not leave that beautiful and inspirational piece of art behind. Nope, not at all! It now hangs on a wall in our home offering a daily reminder that it is our nest, for all the reasons David Arms so eloquently stated.

Have you ever had something speak to your heart in such a way as this?