Our Wild Nature

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
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.


Wild Geese

By Mary Oliver

The poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver is a favorite of mine. We often read it in the 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course that I teach. It encompasses my daily work as a therapist and as a sensitive human accepting my reality and my constant recommitment to be alive during these complex times.


One of the most difficult lessons I’ve been learning in this lifetime is that there are as many ways to do something as there are people to do it. My rigid, sticky brain is sometimes resistant to this vital truth. I am constantly learning to soften my rigid body into diverse ways of seeing and being.


My dear elder, Malidoma Somé, introduced me to the Wedamé, the wild citizens of nature, who remind us of our undomesticated parts—our true self, our Wild nature.


This is the place in us where endless creative possibilities reside.


I often go to the Wedamé and ask them to show be how to be in harmony with my family and friends, human and other.


My go-to for connecting with my wild, undomesticated self is to sit outside and observe. The sounds and sites right in my yard instantly bring my into a state of wonder, awe, and curiosity.


When I am struggling to allow others to be themselves or when I’m having a hard time listening to my own inner truth, I know I need to sit outside and observe the winged ones, the crawling ones, the hopping ones and to listen to the many wild sounds of life being it’s grand Self.


In episode 37 of Ancient Soul, Modern Mind podcast, I share several stories about my encounters with the tiniest helpers.