Maybe because it’s spring, I’ve been having some nature cravings lately. There are lovely green leaves everywhere now, and blossoms, and swallows zipping about in the morning and evening, and that freshness in the air… there is nature in the city to be sure, but getting a taste of it in an urban setting seems to make me greedy for more! I want fields and forests and fresh streams or sea, wild spaces where you can’t here any traffic or construction sounds. I want some wilderness!
However, since I can’t get that right now, I’ve been re-reading the poetry of one of my favourite poets, Mary Oliver. I just love the nature imagery that her poems evoke. They bring up all kinds of associations for me, of a particularly American sort of wild landscape, open spaces, a sense of freedom, freshness, exhilaration, all that good and inspirational stuff. For any of you nature lovers out there, I recommend getting your hands on some of her poems!
The other day I was reading ‘The Summer Day’ and I absolutely love it and the sort of ‘life questions’ of the poem, so I thought I’d share the second half of it. Actually, I think I could do with writing the last line of this poem down and posting it all over the flat, because I think it’s the sort of question I’d like to ask myself every day for the rest of forever! I’m going to make it my mantra! Anyway, here it is…
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
– from The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver