Some Creatures

Sometimes it’s the creatures that make the stories. The moths have become a part of our daily life. Many of them are as large as bats. They are attracted to our lights at night, and loudly waver spellbound near our lamps until we turn them off. Then they flutter near the upper windows of our house, transfixed by the light of the moon, trying desperately to reach it while flinging their bodies against the glass. During the day, they stay flat on the walls--looking like intricate decals. I’ve been collecting the dead ones, one of which is in the above photo. Upon inspecting it up close, I discover their huge eyes and hairy legs. I am developing a fascination/repulsion with them.

Our friends’ horse Canela, had a surprise baby. They didn’t know she was pregnant, and then one morning they woke up to discover a miniature horse looking like a carbon copy of his mother.

I found and caught a big spider (which I am pretty sure was not poisonous) and tried to put her on my latest spider web drawing for the website so that I could photograph it with a real spider. But I just couldn’t get her to go on the paper. So I let her be free outside.

 

I also want to share two poems by Mary Oliver that feel relevant right now. I was introduced to these by one my psychology professors in grad school who started class with a brief mediation, and a poem which she always read to us twice. Sometimes lines from each of them come into my head. I love Mary Oliver’s hauntingly exultant way of communing with nature.

 

Wild Geese

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.

 

 

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

POEMZoë DearbornNatureComment