Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wildflowers and poetry.

When one's soul is in a raw state, I find that inspiration tends to spring up in more places. Maybe it's just being so broken or so exhausted, but I am completely open to every little thing I find that speaks truth to me. I will take it all. Give me all the inspiration, because I need it. Lately, I have been inspired by poetry. There's a house in our neighborhood that has a poetry tree, and whenever I walk by it with the kids, Everett likes to choose a poem to take home with us and read. The last poem he chose was "Summer Day," by Mary Oliver, which breathed life into me: 

"Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
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?"

I have often heard the last two lines quoted, and whenever it is mentioned it seems to be done so in a way to inspire people to be great and extraordinary, but that's not really what the poem is about, at least to me in this season. It is about slowing down and finding joy in the simple things like lying in grass and strolling through fields. What could be more important than stopping to pay attention to the beautiful details of this world?

Like Oliver writes, I definitely do not know what a prayer is, but I feel closest to God when in nature. I constantly feel overwhelmed by the weight of the problems in the world, and although I think it is so important to be educated about current events and to be an active global citizen, I also think that self care is crucial. Sometimes we just need to spend a day outside with people we love, pausing to pay attention to the beautiful details. 

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