Man, it is so easy to get lost in the minutiae of misery, isn't it? (I'm not trying to be dramatic; I just really like alliteration--apologies). Misery or, more accurately, discouragement (which is on par with misery, in my book), has so many talons, so many ways to catch you unawares. And, if we're continuing with the bird metaphor (and I don't see why not), don't get me started on the feathers--they get everywhere--in your mouth, your hair, the back of the waistband of your favorite pair of jeans, not to mention your shoes and socks, poking you every time you take a step.
Discouragement...it's a horrible, self-serving predator of a thing that slips in silently, lethally. And if you're not aware of that? You're a goner. Every time.
But we have hope, right? There's always hope. And, if we believe Emily Dickinson (and I can't imagine why we wouldn't), hope too is a thing with feathers.
So, there's something there. Some defense. They've got feathers, we've got feathers...but we've also got the earth. We've got the earth, so we're grounded. We don't have to swoop and plot. We can stand firmly or duck into the grass--either way, the earth's got our back. When the danger passes (and that's the thing with predators--they must always keep moving, keep hunting), we return our gaze to the horizon, and we walk on, pulling stray feathers out of our hair, tucking them into our pockets for luck.