Have the Courage to be That Bird

Metallic ink on Black Paper with Lettering Remnants
Words: Rabindranath Tagore

This is one of my favorite quotes. I have done many versions and given it away multiple times to friends. I have sold versions and still find myself drawn to it at least once a year. The thought of a bird sitting on a limb singing their heart out while the dawn is still dark brings me hope. I think all of us need to be reminded that there is always hope. No matter how dark it seems, there is hope.

I have a friend who is struggling. She is having problems. She is torn between the known and the unknown, and so badly wants to believe that if she makes a step forward that it will get better. She has been disappointed in the past and dares to hope that this time things will be different. She is that bird on the limb singing her heart out while the dawn is still dark. She hopes and sings and hopes some more. No one may be able to hear her song, so she has to be content to sing it for only herself. Some days we have to sing loudest for ourselves before we have the courage to share our song with others. We have to light our own hope before we can ignite the hope in others.

Hope is what built our world. Hope is what brings about new inventions, new ideas, new cures and new thoughts. Hope is what allows us to believe with just a glimmer that something is possible even if today we cannot see it clearly. Hope is that tiny voice telling us that it will get better even as we sit alone on our darkest day so badly wanting things to be different. Hope is what gives us the courage to take one step, then another and before we know it we are moving slowly towards a different life. Hope may be fragile but it is hard to kill.

So sing on, sing loud, sing while it is dark and sing until you cannot sing anymore. Who cares if anyone else hears you, who cares if anyone else understands. Maybe today you simply need to sing to remind yourself that dawn is coming and the darkness will end. Have the courage to be that bird on a limb.

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