Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver
I thought the earth remembered me,
She took me back so tenderly
Arranging her skirts
Her pockets full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before
A stone on the riverbed,
Nothing between me and the white fire of the stars,
But my thoughts.
And they floated light as moths
Among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
Breathing around me.
The insects and the birds
Who do their work in darkness.
All night I rose and fell,
As if water, grappling with luminous doom.
By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times
Into something better.
We woke up on Sunday morning to a gorgeous glow. It filled our kitchen with a strange warmth on a cold morning. We rubbed our tired eyes because we couldn't understand what we were seeing and I made coffee as my mind was a fog. We wandered around in a dreamy state as we tried to work out the reason for the glow.
Finally, my daughter said, "Mum, the tree is yellow". I looked out our kitchen window and saw that our one Autumnal tree had reached its peak. The leaves were filled and overflowed with the sunshine they had collected over spring and summer. They were all shades of red, yellow, and orange. They glowed in the winter light.
I had waited all of autumn for the leaves to change colour but they stayed green. I impatiently watched the leaves, but as we moved into winter, I began to think they would stay just turn brown and fall unceremoniously to the ground. I honestly gave up and moved on with life. But nature won't be rudely rushed, and works on it's on time. It beats to its own drum.
I stood with coffee in hand, admiring the beauty of nature. I reflected on how we sometimes want things to happen in a time frame, how we measure success or failure in time. Like nature, time won't be rushed. I know in my creative life I can sometimes be impatient and the desire to make something happen is strong. It pushes me to create something less. But if I slow down and wait, if I wait for time and nature to be ready, then I feel more connected to my creativity. It's a balance that I am still learning.
I spent all day admiring the glow, and as the sunset, we went outside to capture the colour in our front yard and under the tree. We celebrated the late arrival of autumn, and it was worth the wait.
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