When Life Feels Overwhelming
There are moments for each of us when life feels overwhelming – when we look fear or despair in the face and are tempted to say, “ok, you win.” I recently read this poem in a beautiful book, by and for teachers, called “Teaching with Fire,” edited by Sam Intrator and Megan Scribner, and I found myself reaching for hope and saying instead, “I am strong, the world is wonderful and full of mystery and I will not give up.” So for those moments when you need courage:
by Mary Oliver
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 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 deep tress,
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.
If there is a poem that inspires you, I would love to see it.