The other day when I was walking my dog jess in the park I had a white feather moment. There it was, about to be trodden on as it lay peacefully on the green clover carpet beneath my Wellington’s. For a moment I just stood and looked at it, then with a smile on my face i picked it up and popped it into my pocket along with a few conkers from the day before and continued on our walk. Turning the tv on when I arrived home I was surprised to hear a lady sharing her feelings about her own white feather moments and the belief she held that each white feather she saw was a message from her daughter who had sadly died. In my mind it was one of life’s little coincidences, but it did ruffle my thoughts enough to make me think about what these moments meant for me and what white feathers actually stood for.
During World War 1 the white feather was used by an organisation called the ‘Order of the White Feather’ to shame men into enlisting into the British Army. Women were persuaded to present them with a white feather if they were not wearing a uniform so in the war years the white feather was a symbol of perceived cowardice. Later it was to become more widely known as a symbol of peace.
Nowadays it is often believed that angels place feathers to give us hope and encouragement or that it’s a sign that a loved one is watching over us and if that brings hope to someone in need then I’m all for white feather moments but personally I think I look at it the other way round.
The day before my white feather appeared I’d been to visit my mums grave, something I have taken a lot of comfort from over the year since she died so I could easily have connected the two, especially as there was another white feather on my windowsill the next morning, but for me instead of taking it as a message from a loved one I think I see it as one of natures rare moments that offers me a choice. The choice of ignoring a moment of beauty because I’m too busy to take it in, or the choice to take a moment to appreciate the beauty and use it as time to think about and honour what I’ve lost and to be thankful for all that I have.
As I was walking the dog today I put my hand in my pocket and pulled out the feather. Laying it back on the ground it didn’t look quite as beautiful as the day I found it but it still reminded me of love of hope and of peace and of all I have to look forward too.
Love Alison x