Wild Geese

I have been “on the road”, in one form or another, for almost 7 months. I am not quite ready to reflect on all of this, as my heart and mind slowly begin to prepare to transition to “home”. But, I will say this….it has been amazing, awe-inspiring, and exhilarating, relaxing and wondrous, grand, breathtaking, and enchanting. It has also been daunting and overwhelming, and I have felt lonely, displaced, and rootless. On some days, I feel all of these things at once. Today was one of those days. Seeking some inspiration, I picked up one of the books I’ve been hauling around this country but have yet to read, “Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place” by Terry Tempest Williams. The poem that precedes the book’s prologue stopped me in my tracks. I am sharing it here in hopes that it might resonate with someone else as it did with me.

Wild Geese

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 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.

                      —Mary Oliver, Dream WorkAll photos are Snow Geese, maybe some Ross’s Geese, at Salton Sea on January 1 of this year or February of 2017.

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