A special Earth Day 2020 post, inspired by the lovely poem, Such Singing in the Wild Branches by the incomparable Mary Oliver.
Such Singing in The Wild Branches
by Mary Oliver — from Owls and Other Fantasies
It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves —
then I saw him clutching the limb
in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still
and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness —
and that’s when it happened,
when I seemed to float,
to be, myself a wing or a tree —
and I begin to understand
what the bird was saying,
and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that I was singing —
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed
not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in there perfectly blue sky — all of them
And, of course, yes so it seemed,
So was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last
for more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
And does your own soul need comforting?
Quick then — open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.
Many of our souls have found comfort in nature over these last few difficult weeks.
If we are lucky, we may have experienced “a pure white moment” or two in the natural world.
I hope it is true that “once you have been there, you’re there forever” because, when the world starts to move on again, we need to remember the things we’ve learned over these quiet, worried, contemplative days.
We need to remember that we need Nature. And I really, really hope that we remember that Nature needs us too.
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