Today I’m sharing some poetry by Mary Oliver and Yves Simon, more so of Mary Oliver, who shared my love for the natural world. In South Africa we are firmly in the midst of the third wave of the virus and new cases are escalating at an alarming pace.
Yesterday I walked in a beautiful forest with a gentle and special young man who had recently lost his mother. With mountains on one side and views of the sea on the other side, we sat down on a bench and enjoyed some green juice which he had prepared at home. He has been a vegan for the past three months. This was our view. Little Lions Head, the sea in Hout Bay, and Llandudno. I will share the rest of my outing with you after the poems.
“The late poet Mary Oliver is among the most beloved writers of modern times. Amidst the harshness of life, she found redemption in the natural world and in beautiful, precise language.”
“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.”
“I worried a lot.
Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction,
will the earth turn as it as taught,
and if not how shall I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing,
even the sparrows can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia?
Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up.
And took my old body and went out into the morning,
An extract of a poem by another poet, Yves Simon
“One day unbearable fatigue takes possession of our bodies and thoughts.
It’s not a disease,
and it has nothing to do with age, travel sorrow,
it’s a sudden inability to hope.
As if, suddenly,
the world was no longer the fabulous front of which there was extreme pleasure to stroll and desire.
As if the brain and dreams had lost the rest of the program, or had definitely reached the end of it.”
Walking through the forest we came across shrubs and trees, young, old, dying and dead, the same as us. The only difference is that these photographs show works of art so beautiful which man could never recreate, and we lose our beauty as we age and eventually die.
And the mountains ever present.
We only saw one bird close by, a female Cape Sugarbird, sitting on a branch and calling to her mate. As we went deeper into the forest we found many different varieties of mushrooms. I felt like Alice in Wonderland. (Never lose your inner child).
Finally we found a spot where we could enjoy the picnic lunch carefully prepared by my friend, with my addition of a plain rusticata and a roasted red pepper hummus, not home-made. We sat on the twig strewn ground, the sun streaming through the trees.
After a beautiful day spent in nature we made our way to the car. Walking through the trees you could feel their energy and see how unique each one was. Like us. I was particularly taken by one tree, the bark design creating a textile design for a long red-carpet evening dress. I briefly floated back into one of my lives when I was a fashion designer.
However, nothing is more beautiful, more magnificent than nature, and as much as we try we can never replicate it. What we can do is to stop and enjoy it.
I have so much to be grateful for.
Last night I slept for nine hours, at peace with the world, at peace with myself.
Have a lovely day, and share the sky with me.