Wild Geese

Another poem this week…..read “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver.


Now, this poem, I can get on board with. Reading through it, I think the speaker is an older mentor soothing a young, burdened protege.

The young one is trying. Trying to do everything right, to be everything right. And the mentor is speaking to them in reassurances.

“You don’t have to be good.”

“Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.”

“Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes…”

The world is going on and this is exciting. You are part of something much bigger than yourself. Yes, your despairs and your hurt are real. Yes, please come and share them. Just know that it’s all working out.

I think this poem is about being together through these things. As we go through times when life just happens, being together is important. We have support, we have company, we have reassurance.

To me, it sounds like a community. To build a community, you want to have people around that will simply sit with you, or hug you, or talk to you, or make you laugh, or put things in perspective, or all of the above. A community gets that. A community moves.

“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 love the soothing reassurance of these last two lines. As if everything falls into place at the speed and time it is supposed to because everything is part of a bigger deal. And your place is small, yet important.

I think this is what kindness and compassion looks like. Simply being with each other in this context.

I wonder, then, where tolerance comes in? How do we challenge one another? Do we let mistakes happen?

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