Wild Geese

Dear friends,

Today was another hot day, and I let it laze away before me without much of a care.  I’m feeling a bit homesick today, somewhat for the climate that I’ve come to see as normal, but more for family and friends who are in my prayers but not before my eyes.  I went for a walk around PG today, and took some pictures (which I’ll share later), and a part of me feels very normal here.  Today, some tourists at Jill’s cafe asked me if  I’d lived here very long!  Lived.  I know I can’t fool any Belizean about where I come from, but I’m surprised that I can even fool a tourist!  I am adapting, and coming to know people and faces.  It’s exciting, but it makes me miss the faces I love most dearly.

As I mourned being away from my family and friends, I thought of a poem that I first heard on the first day of an English class at Franklin & Marshall College.  Professor Patricia O’Hara, in her singsong, gentle voice, read aloud the poem “Wild Geese,” by one of my now-favorite poets, Mary Oliver.  I’d love to share it with all of you.  We all need a bit of poetry in our lives, and this particular work helps me to remember to live in the present–to be a citizen of the world, and to rest in the knowledge that home will be waiting for me when it’s time.


Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver

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 clean 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.


2 thoughts on “Wild Geese

  1. Hi Sarah,
    Wild Geese is one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems too!. Another one I love and have thought about a lot since Gram died is “White Owl Flies in and Out of the Field”. If you don’t have access to it, let me know and I’ll send.
    Miss you and very much enjoyed spending time with you in NJ. FYI, Maya has been officially accepted by Ayusa so we’ll be working on plans for her departure to Ecuador at the end of August. Before that, we’ll be back east taking Matthew to school and hopefully connecting with your mom and dad and whomever else can make it to Friends Lake for a few days around August 20th. Maybe we will see you there! Take care and keep impressing those tourists! Been enjoying your blog.

    Lots of love,


  2. Thanks to both of you. I had never heard of Miss Oliver. Always nice to learn something new.

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