Today is my birthday. And today is the first time in 21 years that my mother has spent the night at my house. There's a long, sad, difficult,happy-ending story that explains why this is so, but today is not the day for that. Today my 90 year old mother and I are driving on these fragrant farm roads, picking up corn-on-the cob for dinner, and checking out the butterfly sanctuary that spooked me a few weeks ago.
Today I am shouting a collective "thank you" to my family, friends, community and the universe. And I am sharing my favorite poem of all time: Wild Geese by Provincetown's Mary Oliver. I hope it might find you at just the right moment and provide something sacred in the very moment you need it.
Thank you, thank you.
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
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the
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
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
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.