Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver
I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
We as a group of artist mothers from all over the world are making it our priority to turn off the tv/video games so that we can give our children the sacred experience to connect with the fast disappearing natural world. We will freelens our adventures into the wild and share them through this monthly project.
In these tangled woods my two youngest and I have found an enchanted bit of quiet and beauty. On this evening it was dripping with light. It was beautiful, but it was not perfect. They fought, one stomped away pretending to leave us but came back, I felt a little irritable as the school year is winding down and this is the last week. There is always so much to do out in our real world and it weighs so heavily sometimes. But I stopped and sat at the foot of tree bathed in the prettiest light. They picked up sticks and made each other laugh, we found a toad, my daughter taught our new puppy tricks, and our old dog came alive in the woods like he always does. For a moment between 12 year old boy jokes that were driving me nuts, my son let me take a few close up shots of his sweet face. Last summer we spent a lot of time going for walks in these woods. On this day, they did feel a year older, changed, as I did, because, we were. It was a chance to look at their lighthearted faces glowing in the yellow light and remember to breathe, to laugh. I hope we spend more time here this summer and maybe even get their two older brothers to come with us. It really is a place where our "thoughts (could float) light as moths among the branches of the perfect trees" and "into something better."