Spider mums blooming in Reynolda Woods on an early September Day.

Spider mums blooming in Reynolda Woods on an early September Day.

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver.  Her insights into our personal hero journey, viewed by turning over the smallest leaf or pebble while on an every-day walk in the woods, have pleased and inspired me beyond measure.  Thank you Mary. We love you.

Here’s one of my favorites:

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice–

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at  the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late enough,

and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the starts began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do–

determined to save

the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver (born September 10, 1935)