SINDA NICHOLS: Have Suitcase Will Travel

June 2013 Archives

Hope is the thing with feathers

posted June 16, 2013

Dear Emily,

What a blast we had in Michigan! Cherry orchards in full bloom have given a new meaning to that wonderful line, “Spring is a happiness so beautiful, so unique, so unexpected that I don’t know what to do with my heart.”

Unfortunately, less than 48 hours after returning home from three enchanting and exquisite performances at the awesomely perfect Old Town Playhouse Studio Theatre in Traverse City, I found myself recast in the role of . . . . Nurse Nichols! My most ardent supporter, dearest friend, No. 1 Belle of Amherst Fan, and Husband took a nasty spill on his bicycle and ended up in the hospital for five days. In between reading aloud, plumping pillows and staying out of the way of the experts, I found myself wandering around the hospital halls and taking comfort from all the wonderful art and quotes on the walls. One quote by Maya Angelou was so thought provoking, I returned several days later with pen and paper to write it down.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Standing there and absorbing another great poet’s words, I silently hoped that people would not only feel inspired and uplifted from “Belle” and Emily’s words, but would also remember that feeling for a long time.
Feathers Shands Hospital

One day I wandered down a quieter, less traveled corridor in the hospital and came upon a beautiful art piece of many feathers made out of clay hanging from ribbons. Next to these lovely works of art was a poem that began, “Hope is the thing with feathers . . . . . “ And there you were – still with me – in a
downtown Jacksonville, Florida hospital on a Memorial day weekend in 2013. A setting far different than the Homestead Parlor in Amherst, Massachusetts during the late 19th century. But, just as perfect for one of your poems. I stood there in that empty hospital corridor, smiling, chuckling out loud, with a tear trickling – Feathers Poem Shand's Hospitalsuddenly I heard that wonderful line, “so beautiful, so unique, so unexpected, that I don’t know what to do with my heart”, other than to say Thank You.



PS Patient healing well “at home” and Nurse Nichols is keeping a steady stream of poems and pillows at hand.