Mountains , Rivers, Trees and Blossoms for a New Year-Mary Oliver and Me
On the eve of a New Year and in the face of all the turmoil and strife we are encountering its important to keep our bearings; understand what is authentic and what will sustain us as we try and make sense of the infinite complexity of the world.
Its vital that we dream positive dreams; reach out to those we fear , engage visible holiness, attend to the trees, the mountains and the rivers so that they can weave their magic on us and the next generation.
To transform the world we need to understand our own life, love, truth and uniqueness..
No one captures these things better than American poet Mary Oliver. So I am sharing two Oliver poems with you in the hope that they will energise, console and strengthen you as they did me so that we can all work together to be the people we are meant to be in 2016 and beyond.
Leaves and Blossoms along the Way: A Poem
Mary Oliver 2015
If you’re John Muir you want trees
to live among.
If you’re Emily, a garden
Try to find the right place for yourself.
If you can’t find it, at least dream of it.
When one is alone and lonely, the body
gladly lingers in the wind or the rain,
or splashes into the cold river,
or pushes through the ice-crusted snow.
Anything that touches.
God, or the gods,
are invisible, quite
understandable. But holiness is visible,
Some words will never leave God’s mouth,
no matter how hard you listen.
In all the works of Beethoven,
you will not find a single lie.
All important ideas must include the trees,
the mountains, and the rivers.
To understand many things you must reach out
of your own condition.
For how many years did I wander slowly
through the forest. What wonder
and glory I would have missed had I ever been
in a hurry!
Beauty can both shout and whisper,
and still it explains nothing.
The point is, you’re you, and that’s for keeps.
by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.