love note for nature

trialing light sunset

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

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.

I believe that what you sing to the clouds
will rain upon you when your sun, has gone away” – Michael Franti

Recently I committed to doing what I love, not because I am good at it, but just because it brings me joy.

I am not a poet, and I know it. I am scared of criticism and others thinking, “What the Fu#@ is she talking about?”

But I am going to share this poem anyway.

Because I wrote it a few weeks ago after a blissful walk with my dog in the throes of peace and gratitude.

My hope is that maybe it will inspire you too…not necessarily to write poetry, although, that would be great, but to risk making an arse out of yourself for something you love.

My friend Lori reminded me recently that it is better to try and to fail, than to ignore that which we have been wanting to do but haven’t, because of the fear associated with it.

This is a thank you note to the beauty in nature that always leaves me feeling supported, seen, cared for, and a part of something big, beautiful, and mysterious.

 

The long low hoot of a morning Dove

The sky – a robin egg blue

or the color of a jacket and skirt my Nana wore

I run my hands along the clouds

dipping my finger tips in a cool pool on a hot summer day.

 

Squirrels playing hide and go seek; jumping, leaping

from branch to branch.

A red cardinal glancing at me through the window

dappled light shining on his bold, bright feathers

bearing witness to my pain.

His presence, his peace, guiding me

letting me know I am never alone

there is always someone

or something

loving us in every moment.

This, is how we enter the world

and this is how we leave.

 

The gentle rhythm of palm fronds swaying sleepily

dreamily in the wild wind.

The fleeting sunrise and sunset

limitless

a mysterious ballet with swirling purples, pinks, and creamsicle-colored

silky ribbons held in the sticky hand of a joy-filled child.

 

The sun’s rays breaking out behind a cloud – stretching wider and brighter

with welcoming arms of warmth and kindness

embracing those who pause long enough to notice

the wispy, white-winged angels.

 

The moon; big, bright, and yellow

rising over our Earth

like vanilla flavored birthday cake.

At night, the freckles of light

flicker on the water

diamonds dancing, sparkling with truth

as the phosphorescence

in the dark wet sand

like stars, wink

underneath my feet

lighting the way – a magical, gem-strewn path before me.

 

A dolphin; smooth and gray gliding under the waves wearing a smile

always a smile

swimming fast, faster

playfully birthing hope, tears, and life.

A seagull’s cry on the cliff overlooking the thunderous waters.

 

The smell of damp leaf-covered earth

on a raw chilled-to-the-bone morning.

A canopy of Sycamores overhead.

 

Monarch butterflies flying

like pieces of stained glass

under a witch’s spell

tickling my shoulders.

The twigs and leaves of eucalyptus trees

with their heavenly smell – clean, crisp, pure

perfect air

they are my saving grace.

 

One can hear the butterflies – listen –

their wings singing, undulating, flapping freely

without a care in the world.

Sage, rosemary, basil

healing, soothing, purifying

earthy, and sun-drenched.

 

I place the succulent leaves to my nose

inhaling slowly and deeply

coveting the blessed reprieve

from stifled, suffocated, shoebox air.

 

The fragrance of frangipanies, of gardenias

and jasmine

intoxicating

and uplifting,

promising spring

an evening filled with laughter and a tingly buzz.

Brightly colored paper lanterns

swaying to the sounds of Spanish guitar.

 

I hike up a mountain to the summit blanketed in white.

I walk by a bee and a bear

by the crater filled with ice

by the house with the barking dog running

back and forth in his yard with an invisible fence.

While Maple leaves float about like dancing sprites in skirts of red, orange and yellow.

 

The stroll in the glittery new fallen snow

a mint in my mouth

leaves me feeling cool headed and warm-hearted

for the first time in a long while.

 

I wait for a kiss under a Dogwood tree

as it showers the pavement below

with pink – purple confetti.

 

The sanctuary of the beach

the temple of the trees

the sunrise on a strangers face

nature is how I understand

and relate to God.

 

The cycles of the seasons,

day break and night fall,

elephants

leaf-cutter ants

monkeys, bamboo

tide pools, rocks, shells, and sea glass

thank you for showing up here.

I relish the abundant gifts of diversity, simplicity, and majesty.

 

Thank you Nature for the gentle nudges

and signs,

for the rain,

and the plentiful flowers and weeds

fruits, roots, and vegetables.

 

Sometimes I fear you

but always I have faith in you.

I will do my best to trust my intuition

and this journey

to love others unconditionally

and to be present for you

in your sorrow and triumph.

 

Thank you Nature for the reminders to be

and to share joy

simply because we are alive

and we matter and how we live matters.

We are valued because we exist.

 

We are all connected

an intricate tapestry, an essential web,

an integral part

of the family of things.

 

For more inspiration…copy and paste this link to watch Alanis Morissette’s lovely video, Big Sur. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyNUeVkzKYU

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