Celebrating the Earth with Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver (1935 – 2019) was an American poet who spent her entire life noticing and celebrating small things from the natural world – a grasshopper eating sugar out of her hand, wild geese in flight, a heartbroken spider, the profound beauty of drinking water from her cupped hands. She was a very private person who avoided interviews. Rather than talking about herself, she preferred having her poetry speak for her.
In loving memory of a poet who touched us in so many ways, changed our lives, and made us continually fall in love with our Earth home, here is her life philosophy in a few simple lines:
Instructions for Living a Life
Tell about it.
In the following poem Mary Oliver gives trees a glorious life of their own, and gives us vital clues to living in harmony with nature.
If only we could all “walk slowly and bow often” – imagine how our world would change!
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