Poetry in Our Valley

February 11, 1:00 pm

Today as I walk out along Davis Creek, my mind is on poetry. A myriad of green hues stand out in the winter light, alive in the lichens, grasses, shrubs, trees, and mosses. The sun has penetrated the grey fog that was present earlier, adding a glow to the verdant landscape. Rounding out the palette are red, yellow, and grey: red-stem dogwood and yellow willow bark, the soft grey of the pussy willows looking like small light bulbs along the yellow-brown branches. A visual feast.

Overhead, as it happens each day I am out here, the wild geese are flying in their beautiful “V” formations, honking. Wonder fills my heart and this brings the poetry of Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver, to my thoughts. She passed away earlier this week and in her poetry, she often writes about the natural world in such a way, that myself, and many others, can feel the strong powerful bonds of connection between all living things.

Mary Oliver’s, “The Wild Geese” is used in college English classes all over the country. This line from that poem has always inspired me,

“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 will be missed as her poems will continue to be read by people all over the world. Here in this exquisite valley, we are fortunate to be surrounded by nature’s beauty, an inspiration for the senses and the soul.