Monday, March 31, 2008

walking among the trees ...

I miss these trees (Redwood forest, Rotorua). Our trees grow sideways in parts of Wellington due to the winds we get here. The wind we get here could be due to that big Beehive in the city where the country's leaders gather. Anyway, I digress. I found this American poet (how I love my American women! I keep finding amazing ones). Her name is Mary Oliver and her poetry is exquisite.

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,

especially the willows and the honey locust,

equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,

they give off such hints of gladness,

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,

in which I have goodness,

and discernment,

and never hurry through the world

but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves

and call out, "Stay awhile."

The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,

"and you too have come into the world to do this,

to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine."

~ Mary Oliver ~
I thought of India as I read the following one, "arranging her dark skirts, her pockets full of lichens and seeds", it sure does sound exactly like something Ms Flint would be found doing. Anyway, isn't Mary Oliver wonderful! She sure sounds like the kinda lady I would like to meet. Very earthy and earthed. Believe it or not, I may be a city girl but I am drawn to those American provincial towns. Somehow, I am finding my way back to my roots as a small town girl. Even if for now it is only through poetry.

Sleeping in the Forest

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

from Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver

My boy looking for 'treasures' for his mum.


ArtPropelled said...

Aahh, Mary favourite. If you look at my latest blog post you will see my copy of Thirst in the top photo.
"All night I heard the small kingdoms breathing around me..." Beautiful!

I love the way you and your boys go wandering, collecting and gathering in nature.

india flint said...

miss india likes very much the thought of dark pockets and forest sleeping and blending silently into the forest like Strider in his green coat...

Lavinia said...

These photos match my idea of what an old-growth, primeval, lush forest is. I have never been to such a forest. How blessed you are to live near the splendour of nature like this.