I’ve been reading Mary Oliver lately. Her poetry is grounded in the natural world, and the wisdom that conveys. One of her most beloved poems is Wild Geese, which begins:
“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.”
Sometimes when I read this, it makes me cry.
I have a friend I meet for coffee after church most Sundays. We’re both metaphysical adherents, and we go to Unity in the Rockies, which my son Miles calls “hippie church.”
Anyway, a few weeks ago, Heather and I both wearied, all at once, of the endless push toward “bettering” ourselves. You know, trying to be wiser, kinder, more prosperous, skinnier (me), and have a better job (her). So last week we agreed to embark on a program of simple acceptance. I won’t divulge her goals, but my only task was to accept myself as I am, right now, in this very minute. No making resolutions, no giving up all the bad foods and drinks, no battering myself to go to the gym even if I didn’t feel like it or go to bed early or get up early or anything else. Continue reading