April 1 — “Your place in the family of things”

Tuesday April 1 – Mary Oliver –

I was driving home from the Heartland-Delta Board meeting, at John Carroll in Cleveland, when the bottom of the 9th inning at Comerica came into radio range a little this side of Toledo. Walk-off by a new Tiger shortstop; how sweet is that for Opening Day? Great time to listen in while savoring spring sun and 65º along I-80 and I-75. Even the heavy trucks looked good to me. Hanger-on snow piles get smaller and smaller. This feels like spring to these old bones.

I have been saving this Mary Oliver poem since I came across it a couple weeks ago. Surely this is a poem about a hard, hard winter and the coming of Spring. Oliver invites a person to trust her/his imagination and the kinship at the heart of each person’s human condition.

Have a good day.
john sj

“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.”

― Mary Oliver


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