The Journey – Mary Oliver

I meant to post a poem as usual last weekend but life events overtook me and so this is a bit late. I was reading this in preparation for a meeting with some friends and it seemed rather apt at the moment. Life in the UK is changing again as things start to open up and with Spring coming too this is a moment of renewal and rebirth. The movement back into society is somewhat daunting as well as being an opportunity to leave what is no longer serving. It takes courage and bravery.

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 stars 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.

From Dream Work by Mary Oliver. 1986.

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