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“Wildness reminds us what it means to be human,                                                                                                                what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.”

~Terry Tempest Williams

Earth Day Collage

Urban wildness totally counts!

When I was recently in Tacoma, WA these budding fruit trees outside my hotel reminded me that even in the heart of the city, the wild spirit of nature can be found.

May every day be Earth Day!

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Maple tree at the front of my yard.

This year, Earth Day falls on Sunday, the twenty second of April. Last year I shared one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver to honor the day.

And this year, I offer a quote from this same amazing poet.

When I think about it, her instructions to notice the world are what I’m trying to do with this blog, with my life.

I hope they inspire you as well.

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention

Be Astonished

Tell about it.

~Mary Oliver

Happy Earth Day 2012!

April is National Poetry Month. I can’t believe that I’ve allowed nearly the entire month to slip away without so much as a nod of the head to poetry.

You see, I love poems.

I read them for relaxation, and meditation and inspiration, and the sheer joy of taking the power and beauty of each word into my being.

I keep a book of poetry on my bedside table all the time. That way I can have a little soul vitamin whenever I think of it. When nothing else will do to calm me, or soothe me, or simply make me happy.

It’s a lot to ask of words, and yet they never let me down.

Not once.

So on this Earth Day, I want to share one of my favorite poets with you. You are likely to already know Mary Oliver because she is an amazing, available, influential modern-day poet.

Poppies

The poppies send up their

orange flares, swaying

in the wind, their congregations

are a levitation.

of bright dust, of thin

and lacy leaves.

There isn’t a place

in this world that doesn’t

sooner or later drown

in the indigos of darkness,

but now, for a while,

the roughage

shines like a miracle

as it floats above everything

with its yellow hair.

Of course nothing stops the cold,

black, curved blade

from hooking forward –

of course

loss is the great lesson.

But I also say this: that light

is an invitation

to happiness,

and that happiness,

when it’s done right,

is a kind of holiness,

palpable and redemptive.

Inside the bright fields,

touched by their rough and spongy gold,

I am washed and washed

in the river

of earthly delight-

and what are you going to do –

what can you do

about it-

deep, blue night?

“Happiness, when it’s done right is a kind of holiness….” Oh my God I love that!

Do you have a favorite poet? A favorite poem? Line from a poem?

I’d love to hear…

The pasture is really greening up.We had a Midwestern-style thunderstorm last night, complete with rolling thunder, lightning, and a steady soft rain that lulled me to sleep and continued most of the night. It made for cozy sleeping. This morning when I stuck my head out the patio door to greet the morning, I saw mist rising off the lawn like little puffs of smoke. The air smelled fresh and earthy. And the grass seemed to magically change overnight from kind of green to unbelievably green!

I read recently, though I can’t remember exactly where, that green is the most popular color. Green is soothing, and connects us to nature – a connection that is missing for many people today, unless you count watching Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel on television. In my mind, that’s a pretty weak connection.

After what has seemed like a long, brown winter, my eyes have been starved for the green of spring. In the past couple of weeks, my hunger has been fed.

When I look over the tree line in town, I see the delicious, almost neon, spring green of willows coming back to life.  I seek them out as I drive, greedy to slurp up every glorious drop of green.

The horses are nearly giddy with the tiny shoots of green grass that have returned to the pasture. They wander into sections of pasture long avoided over the winter, just to nibble what must taste to them like nectar of the gods.

Horses are grazers. It’s what they do, so the winter with dry, barren pasture and two feedings of hay is hard on them. They pluck at brown shoots, mainly I suspect, to keep the boredom away. But there’s no nutrition in dead grass. They wait like refugees in a survivor’s camp, dependent on the kindness of their human friends to deliver the twice- daily feedings that keep them alive.

But now we’re heading into the season of abundance where Bud, Pepper and their friends can forage for themselves, and dip their velvety soft lips into oceans of green whenever they want.

The past two winters have been rough for Pepper. We’ve had trouble keeping weight on her, so I especially welcome spring for her. She can eat to her heart’s content, and hopefully convert all that delectable, luscious grass to calories and pounds.

Bon Appetit dear ones!

And Happy Earth Day.

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