As some of you know, I popped off social media a few days ago. I’m a bit conflicted, I admit, and probably in the thrall of withdrawal, if you will. I miss people — and I hope they will find me and reach out. But I’m also much more at peace. I do not need another meme telling me how awful the world is. I need hope, and connection
Today the weather was about as perfect as one can expect. Warm but not hot, with a lovely, orange-blossom scented breeze.
I was able to come outside and write, working on a book that’s been giving me no end of trouble. AARRRRGGGHHH! It’s about betrayal (of one’s self and others) and infidelity and drinking and car crashes and… with any luck, redemption.
Betrayal of self. Addiction. Themes that seem to refer to social media, if you think about it. At least for me. But I digress.
Infidelity, car crashes… You remember how I love the messy people of the world, don’t you?
So, here I am, just finishing up my words for the day and I begin noticing all the creatures who’ve come to visit me as I write. Bailey, the rescuepoo, of course, was noodling around out here in the garden, but he’s gone in now to have a nap. And so, in the silence that comes when the terrier’s napping, others came. First a catbird, then two, finding delicious insects to eat. A chickadee hopped onto the table near me, and looked at me with her bright black eye. A brown and orange moth landed on my wrist. The garter snake, who I call Sydney, came out to sit on the rock near the pond, and the fish nuzzled the blossoming lilies, nibbling away. The wren, who is so busy feeding her babies, sings like Maria Callas, and a pair of cardinals meander through the grass. And then, the rabbit came to visit. She had babies again this year in the flower pot near the back door, and I admit to picking one of them up one time and it nestled inside my shirt, all warm and tiny. She hoppity hops closeby, but not too close. Wise lady. I’d like to cuddle her as well, and I’m not sure she’d like that. Snort.
The foxes didn’t come, because I fear some ill-educated children who live beyond the fields at the back of the garden chased them away and they may have died. Sigh. This, too, is life, and messy. A little groundhog appeared, sweet, waddling and grumpy wee thing. He wouldn’t be here if the foxes were. A strange, heart-breaking balance.
And so there are many thoughts to think, and prayers to be said in gratitude and wonder, at all the life happening just here, in my tiny patch of earth… two acres, and a multitude. It makes me think (which I have more time for, being off social media), of one of my favorite poets… and one of my favorite poems. I hope you enjoy it.
WHO MADE THE WORLD, BY MARY OLIVER
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean –
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down –
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
– Mary Oliver