Have enjoyed following Amy and Dave Freeman’s year-long journey through the Boundary Waters, which they undertook to save the area from being ruined by oil exploration, etc. Looking forward to reading their book when it’s published.
The Facebook pop-up memory feature is pretty great. When I saw what it delivered this morning on my newsfeed, I was quite delighted.
Another Mary Oliver poem. (I really can’t help myself.)
I don’t know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can’t really
call being alive
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.
While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don’t. That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.
“I Happened to Be Standing” from A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver, published by The Penguin Press, New York, Copyright © Mary Oliver, 2012, reprinted by permission of the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency.
I really enjoy helping great organizations and businesses by producing content, handling media relations, editing documents, writing copy. A big help to them. For me, a whole lot of interesting fun.
Lights woven around poles in the barn, haybales set up and festooned for us all to sit on. Then begins Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which makes me begin to cry. In come my sister on the arm of her deceased husband’s nephew, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen, beautiful in black and white. It’s not a long walk to the front of the barn; Rob and Anne have chosen the smaller barn for the ceremony. Then appears beautiful Anne, on the arm of my nephew, Eric, and she walks with confidence to meet her groom. The vows are lovely, facilitated by Anne’s aunt Janice, who became a minister following the death of her brother, Anne’s father, when Anne was one year old. A simple ceremony, and then they walk out to a lovely Beatles song and I have to say that the music in that little barn and for that beautiful ceremony was so perfect, my heart broke and swelled, all at once. On to the picture taking, and then to the large barn, where the reception is held. We talked with cousins from far and near and Anne and Rob’s friends and extended family. When the music started, there was only joy — for 3 or 4 hours, my niece smiled and danced and jumped and swayed and sang and pumped her fist in the air and kissed her husband and, of that time, I have to say my favorite was seeing her with her former roommate, Gillian, dance to Gaga’s Bad Romance, because, 6 or so years ago, they memorized those moves and have been delighting all of us with it ever since and it IS delightful and fun and everything good. The setting for this most wonderful celebration awed all of us — beautiful grounds (it’s where Rob and Anne board their horse, Geronimo) with a stone pool, white hydrangeas surrounding a gorgeous black fence, and a lovely wooden fence — and very, very long — surrounding the horses’ paddocks and pasture. We had a beautiful storm, just when everyone got into the big barn, and then a beautiful sunset. Oh, and I have to tell you that the ring bearer, Anne and Rob’s black Labrador Lucy, did her job beautifully — wagging her tail as she ran in from the outside right up to Anne and Rob to give them the rings. (Anne has loved animals all her life and is now a veterinarian, so, of course, she would want her animals with her on the happiest day of her life.) Those vows, that setting, this couple, their marriage. Anne and Rob, all the love in the world as you begin.
Author Elizabeth Gilbert on what inspired this image:
Years ago, when I was going through a really hard time, a friend of mine who was a naturalist gave me some beautiful advice about how to best take care of myself.
He told me, “When an animal in the wild has been injured, it has only two strategies for how to heal itself: It can rest, or it can go to the water. Right now, try to do as much of both as possible.”
And then go to the water.
Drink the water. Submerge yourself in the water. Touch the water. Look at the water.
Then go back to sleep.
Repeat as necessary, until healing occurs.
Sometimes I forget these two magical principals — how to rest, and how to go to the water. Then I get overwhelmed by life’s challenges, and I trick myself into believing that I need a much more complicated cure than your average wounded animal. And sometimes I do need a more complicated cure, I guess.
But not usually.
Usually sleep and water will do the trick.
It always reminds me of that Isak Dinesen quote: “The cure for everything is salt water: tears, sweat, or the sea.”
This morning — after a good night’s sleep — I went to the water. Here’s a photo I took this morning of my feet dipping into my old friend the Atlantic Ocean. She has never let me down yet, and she didn’t let me down this morning, either.
(That said, when the ocean isn’t available, a long hot bath will work. Or a cold shower. Or standing naked under the garden sprinkler, which has been known to change the energy of a day, as well! As a final resort: Just drink 8 ounces of the stuff…whatever it takes! Get thee to water, people.)
Just rest, and go to the water.
It’s all gonna be alright.
That’s what the water always tells me, anyhow. And I believe in the water.