Wild Geese

Beloved poet Mary Oliver passed away on Thursday at the age of 83.  Oliver’s poems were much inspired by the link between the natural world and spirituality.

When I read her poem Wild Geese back in 2015, it stirred me to write about my feelings of belonging, or lack thereof, and of my own place in the world.

Having lived through a number of moves, changes, and upheavals, my transitions often deemed me as a newcomer who will probably always feel a little like someone on the outside, looking in.*

Yet, when I read that poem and let the words sink in, they seem to grant me the freedom to love and experience all the things that mean the most to me. I can now belong in this life I’ve created, just as everyone belongs to the bigger picture that is the universe, to bear witness to a journey filled with joy, sorrow, and exquisite beauty.*

Of course, Mary Oliver said it better than I ever could:

photo: jenniferkellandperry.com

*Excerpts from my blog post: Belonging, March 12, 2015.
Many of the comments on your own feelings of belonging were a real eye-opener for me!

What is “your place in the family of things”?

23 thoughts on “Wild Geese

  1. One take on the wild goose I picked up from Paul Kyle. He’s an amazing man who headed a protestant catholic reconciliation movement in Northern Ireland. He used to do “pub church” on Sunday mornings in the back room of an Irish bar and teach about Celtic Christianity. They thought of the wild goose as the symbol for the Holy Spirit, a person that one doesn’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It encapsulated the adventurous freedom of coming to know G-d and the pioneering spirit of people like St. Patrick or St. Brendon. Sort of a ” relating to the Lord may not be easy or safe, but it is very good.” Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A profound reflection, Jennifer. Mary Oliver’s voice was a call to action.
    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?”

    May these words continue to inspire us as we continue on our journey….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you Jennifer for writing this post in honour of the remarkable woman Mary Oliver was – and is -,
    as she still will continue to live with us and inspire. I am sure this will continue through generations.
    She is a great poet and I feel a deep affinity with her and all I have read by her.


    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jennifer, a tender and loving post in honour of Mary Oliver. Her poetry is profound and easily to relate to. I am happy her words gave you a clearer understanding of your life … many moves and experiences is never easy and she brings enlightenment to life itself. A sad loss … her poetry will live on. Wishing you a lovely Sunday, my friend! 🌺

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A sad loss indeed, but as you say, her poetry will live on and inspire many others to ask themselves: “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Her words in Wild Geese did bring enlightenment to me at a time when I needed it more than I’d realized.
      We as writers can only hope that something we create will live on to inspire others!
      Happy Sunday to you too, Annika. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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