Goodnight, Shining Example
News anchor Peter Jennings was there every evening during my entire life, telling me stories of the world. Even as a kid, I knew that he cared and I loved him for that. So even though I never met him, I considered him to be family. If I can give the gift of someone else's words to him to tell him what I learned from his fine example, this is what I would say;
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 river bed,
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.
-- Sleeping in the Forest by Mary Oliver, from her book with the same title. Republished here without permission but with no intention of profiting in any way whatsoever.
© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist