The first of three poems by Mary Oliver as the seasons change…
Well, there is time left —
fields everywhere invite you into them.
And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?
Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!
Mary Oliver, Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches? (extract)
Consciously inhabiting our senses is a pathway to the present moment, to feeling truly alive. Tuning in to our senses in nature invites presence and joy, whether we’re smelling the first full bouquets of apple and cherry blossoms in spring, seeing a crystalline carpet of dew on the lawn in the early morning, feeling the warm moisture of a tropical breeze as it softens our bodies and melts our hard edges, or hearing the dawn chorus of birdsong. Living with such a full awareness, we can be present to life’s gifts when they present themselves.
Mark Coleman, Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path to Self Discovery
Pain is physical, but suffering is mental.
Outside of the mind there is no suffering.
Pain is essential for the survival of the body, but none compels you to suffer.
Suffering is entirely due to clinging or resisting;
it is a sign of our unwillingness to move on, to flow with life.
Nisargadatta Maharaj, 1897 – 1981, Indian teacher of nondualism
What is this message that wild animals bring, the message that seems to say everything and nothing? What is this message that is wordless, that is nothing more or less than the animals themselves- that the world is wild, that life is unpredictable in its goodness and its danger, that the world is larger than your imagination.
Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting lost
Make yourself a refuge…
There is a lake somewhere
so blue and far nobody owns it.
A wind comes by, and a willow listens
I hear all this, every summer…
That lake stays blue and free; it goes
on and on.
And I know where it is.
William Stafford, Why I am Happy
Everything that seems empty
is full of the angels of God.
Hilary of Poitiers, 310 – 368 AD