40 Reflections: 40 days of raw recollections during the Lenten Season
The 1930’s began in depression, marring the soul and conscience of the nation. The timeline continues as the Boulder (Hoover) Dam was completed, horrific Dust Storms occurred, and Amelia Earhart flew solo across the Pacific. Finally, in the mid 30’s along with my parents, great sonneteer, Mary Oliver was born.
Mary Oliver is a ubiquitous poet known for her writings of the natural world. Her poetry speaks directly to the reader, using flora and fauna as her perpetual backdrop. Oliver’s words read like prayers, organically creating a community of believers in the joyful celebration of nature.
As we walk through our tattered world, each step feels steeper than the last. Therefore, I leave with you Mary Oliver’s poem, “Wild Geese”.
May it lift all of us from profound sadness and leave us floating “high in the clean blue air”.
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 world goes on.
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.