Thanksgiving Poem

Wild Geese 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 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.

I’m thinking a lot about the “family of things” this Thanksgiving. There seems to be so very much to think about…such as

Trust. How do people in organizations function when they fail to establish a basic level of trust?

And, if we fail to trust one another, how then do we manage to function with integrity and respect?

I am fairly destracted by stuff going on….but it is feeling a bit like Thanksgiving, despite living in the desert…because it’s raining and cool!


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
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9 Responses to Thanksgiving Poem

  1. Jennifer says:

    May you have reminders in your home that spark your grateful heart.

  2. Have faith and trust in yourself. Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. What a beautiful poem. The last five lines really spoke to me.Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Barbara B. says:

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  5. Rev SS says:

    I know you know the answer to your questions (No trust = dysfunction and lack of integrity and respect) On this Thanksgiving may you be comforted by the knowledge of God’s faithfulness to so many who have been and are in your shoes. Shalom

  6. Kievas says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Deb says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! I read these lines:Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,the world offers itself to your imagination,and remembered the beauty of the afternoon sun shining through the weeds in my garden. Weeds are beautiful. Now, to a gardener, that’s a weird concept. But it’s true…peace-Deb

  8. Beach Walkin says:

    I’m feeling your pain. I did the Thanksgiving thing… up from 6 and didn’t sit down for more than about 30 minutes… until 5… but I was glad to do it because everyone got to be together. But it sucked getting up the energy to do that after meeting with the bishop… over the issue of congregational trust. I’ll keep praying for you… you know where I live if you need to vent!

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