“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.” Mary Oliver
Sorry to have missed a post or two. Holidays and family emergencies intervened. And it all reminds me of the need to be grounded. Centered, instead of lost in busyness.
More than anything else for me that requires taking a breath or two outside, under the sun or beneath the stars. To see eternity I must, start with “heaven in a wildflower,” as William Blake once said.
My garden is where I escape the ugliness in the world and for a moment breathe the fragrance of beauty. There is something in my soul that cannot bloom without sun and dirt, and wind and rain.
Oh, I am a crusader after justice, a wrong righter, a Quixote. I find my call in service and stand ready to help others to war against the agents of despair. But if my soul is not healthy I have no weapons with which to fight. I am no good for anyone, not even myself.
So this post, though very brief, is a reminder to myself of that need, which I also share with you. If only for this minute, stop reading here and take a breath. Sink into peace. Loosen the muscles you have clenched to take on your next battle in life and put on the armor of nature, the strength of beauty. Shield your spirit by grounding yourself in the infinite. God, for me, or however you name that greater than ourselves, is there and we need the connection, or reconnection, to feel whole.
So for today I choose beauty. I choose nature as a way to rejoin “the family of things.” I will seek the infinite. And I know I’ll find you there.