April 2. It’s a grey snow falling on the cedars kind of a day. Not one speck of sun. The temperature was still in the minuses this morning. We thought we would go for one last ski. What a foolish decision! It wasn’t full of joy. I caught myself thinking ‘how fucking stupid is this!’ several times as I picked/slid/skid carefully and gingerly along the miserably bumpy, icy, gutted tracks. I felt somewhat like Tiny Tim as he tiptoed through the tulips. As I uttered my last expletive a flock of geese flew overhead. I couldn’t help but think of Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese. Two of the birds came down to perform a dance for me.
It changed my thoughts completely. I was very happy to be out on that f’g! track. It was so worth it. I wasn’t being good. It wasn’t as bad as if I was walking on my knees. It felt magical being out there with these wild creatures, the snow, the bare trees and the grey sky. I felt part of it all.
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 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.