Saturday, February 27, 2010

Egrets - February 27, 2010

...bleached reeds

at the far shore

which, as I looked,

wrinkled suddenly

into three egrets-

a shower

of white fire!

Even half-asleep they had

such faith in the world

that had made them-

tilting through the water,

unruffled, sure,

by the laws

of their faith not logic,

they opened their wings

softly and stepped

over every dark thing.

I come near to the end of reading Mary Oliver for two months, and with this poem, I see my faith growing that we humans belong on this planet though we feel so distant for the source of our being. Mary's poems have been full of questions for me as I look for answers. I want to know how to be sure that I can fly over the darks things in the human psyche, soul, and genocidal and environmentocidal cultures. Despite (or perhaps because of) our burdensome logic which discerns ourselves and others as flawed, my body begins to trust that this is only part of our story. With our musing and abusing, we are flowing with All and we are flying. Our very struggles in the dark is the beauty by the pond that is the white fire of our beings. In the pond's stillness, in the stillness of pre-dawn dark, I see my reflection in the world around. I fly with egrets, and I fly with my regrets.

Do you have regrets where you judge yourself as being less than the beauty of a wood's pond or the egrets flying over them?


  1. I finally figured out how to subscribe to this blog. Unfortunately, in the process my very long comment about "egrets" was deleted. I will try again tomorrow. (This is a test.)

  2. I regret feeling less beautiful and less deserving for the first thirty-five years of my life. Then when I divorced and proved to myself I could provide a good home for my children by myself, I realized my beauty was more than skin deep and inside I am as beautiful as the quiet pond and the egret.

    The reason I am responding so late is that I picked up Jacquie Garvy and kids and we drove to Ceder Key. There were very few people out because of the rainy morning. After playing with and feeding the seagulls we decided to take a more northern path home. Taking the first road north we happened upon the Lower Suwannee Nature Drive. It was great! For nine miles and more than an hour we were on a barely two lane path and could stop out in the middle to gawk at the hawk, the finches, The red wing black bird,and yes a beautiful large white egret standing in the middle of the path. By the time we found a camera, he had stepped over the dark spots of water and behind a few cyprus trees about five feet from the road. He'd walk in the direction we were going and we'd follow with the car. He'd walk again and I'd drive along side until we got to a drier spot and he stayed in the water. We followed the McCormick Creek path until it came to the spot where one could put in a boat or canoe. The kids got out of the car and were impressed with how quiet it was. We went at a good time there weren't even any insects disturbing the silence with their buzzing. The kids got IT. Having trouble finding words to describe their feeling while there, words like, "We belong," "It's like home," came out. It was the first time I had experienced that feeling without being on foot. We saw only three other cars the whole time.

    To Anonymous - I did the same thing and erased mine for two days before figuring it out. I'd love to see your egret story.

  3. To Sally: This was a lovely post, especially gratifying about the kids' comments, which I found very heartening. Who knows how that gift you gave them outside Cedar Key will resonate up and down the ages? We never know how much good we do....
    As to my egret post, I don't have it in me to do over! And I still haven't figured out a good way to post: it always gives me the message that it won't take my post the first time - I think I have signed up incorrectly or something...T (aka, anonymous)