It’s to be expected that the Christmas season comes around, like clockwork, each year. But yet it has managed to take me by surprise this season. Perhaps its the freakishly balmy temperatures in New York City, or the work related hysteria overtaking my calendar? Maybe the lack of traditions in my mid-twenties life, somewhat, but desirably displaced.
The other night, at yoga class, our final breathes were paired with a poem. As I heard the words drift over me, something deep within recognized their phrases. When I got home, I paged through a poetry anthology I had bought in high school, and found the same poem there, dogeared and revered.
So far this season, the only gift that I’ve given as of yet (don’t worry though family and friends!) is one to myself. Sometimes words without explanation and pomp are enough. I hope this resonates with you also.
“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 clear 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.”
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver