Your Place in the Family of Things
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.”
When you hit a dead end, turn around.
Lonely, reach out.
Lost, wander further.
Chaotic, meditate on this very moment alone.
Regret, move on and create no more new ones.
Caught in the past, no re-dos only lessons.
Worried about the future, focus on today, the foundation of the future.
Uninspired, read poetry and find your hiding soul, it’s there waiting to come out and play.
“You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.”
Where you are, right now, rejoice for the world offers itself to your imagination.
Your place is the family of things – you are needed, cast your light.