Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Yesterday morning and again last night, I heard my first geese fly overhead announcing their journey to the southland.  While others may consider it squawking, I find their chatter comforting as it reminds me that my favorite season is on its way.  And so, I’m following my tradition of posting this poem at the first call by the migrating wild geese.

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

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 the 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.


lessons learned: the gift of deep peace


Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

gaelic blessing
This week, someone shared this blessing as a benediction for our meeting.  It has long been one of my favorites, and it came as a reminder to me during a much-needed time.
I’ve discovered this week that the paradox of being deeply sensitive and intuitive could come down to this:  while it be the foundation for compassion and understanding, if unchecked, it can drift into an ego-based desire to “fix” things.  And some might say (and by some, I mean myself) that we get weighted down so deeply in the muck and mire of the stress that we forget to see the bigger picture of who God is calling we to be (especially as a sensitive and intuitive person in the world of today).
As a part of my yoga and meditation time this week, I’ve been using “deep peace” as a mantra, and during my quiet car commute this morning some new thoughts unfolded about what deep peace truly is.
Deep peace is putting the ego aside so you can hear the calming whisper of the Holy Spirit. It is the realization that there is something bigger than yourself, and if you are willing to surrender to it, then anxiety, stress, and fear dissipate, or at least come into perspective.
Deep peace is not passive. I think we all know a little something about struggling with our egos. Deep peace is an active state but does not involve actively focusing on your inner conflict and how to come your sense of peace. Deep peace is actively letting go of the self and engaging in surrender to and trust of our Creator.
Deep peace is not blind to the challenges that are occurring. Rather, it redirects us from getting so caught up in our own personal issues that we forget to share our light and love with others–that we forget the higher calling of the One who asked us to create peace in this world.
And more importantly, striving for deep peace is not a a selfish act.  It is actually quite humbling.  In its own gentle way it it nudges, “This is where the work of your ego stops, and where the work of the Holy Spirit begins.”
Deep peace to you, for you, and around you this day.

rainbow in the clouds

rainbow in clouds

Many years ago, I had the honor of attending a talk by Dr. Maya Angelou at Mars Hill College near my hometown of Asheville.  My seat was near the back so there was no hope of seeing her facial expressions or appreciating the nuances of gentle body language, but that voice, yes that voice, resonated in my heart and in my spirit.

This morning, as I drove to my job, I witnessed the right side of a large, wide rainbow in the clouds over downtown Asheville. Because it was so diffuse, it was not a spectacular, photo-taking rainbow, but nonetheless, it was there.

It reminded me of Dr. Angelou’s speech on having rainbows in our clouds and being rainbows in someone else’s clouds.  That phrase has remained tucked away in my heart, and I call on it when I am broken or when I have the opportunity to use my brokenness to become a healer for someone else.

Because her voice is so key to appreciating the essay, I have attached a link to a short video (less than 2 minutes) for you to let it wash over you.  Perhaps you might watch it the first time, then the second time, simply close your eyes and feel it dig deep into your soul.

Many blessings for you this morning.

Rainbow in My Clouds video