Poetry is a powerful tool, shared throughout many mindfulness courses as a way to illustrate the power of what it means to be present for our lives. The University of California San Diego Center for Mindfulness has done a wonderful job displaying many of the poems read during the MBSR and the MSC courses on their website. With gratitude to them for their effort, we humbly point you to their collection.
And, today, January 17, 2019, we are saddened by the news of Mary Oliver’s passing. We begin our MBSR classes, always, with a reading of “Wild Geese,” and find it never gets old. But alas, get old, we do. One thing is for sure, Mary’s poetry will live on in us as long as we are here on this earth. Her words encourage us to live this brief life with love and wonder; they demand that we show up and pay affectionate attention. Thank you, Mary. May you rest in great peace. There is surely a new, bright star shining in the heavens.
When I Am Among the Trees by Mary Oliver
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”