RSS Feed

The Other Kingdoms

Mary Oliver writes such wonderful poetry, even when it looks like prose. I find a depth in the words and spaces that calls me to reflect upon the cultural and personal constraints that surround me. Certainly, I need those constraints. They guide me through the moment-to-moment actions of my daily life. I need those words that help me make sense of the most immediate world that I often take-for-granted.

What if I lived in the north? I would need those many words and an awareness of what the snow told me to survive. I read today that mother orangutans spend 7-8 years with each offspring. During that time, the mothers appear to teach the ways of life necessary for the offspring’s survival. I say appear, because we cannot communicate with them well enough to know with certainty. There is something mystical about that existence that cannot be fully grasped. So even in the orangutan world, there is a culture and communication that helps them negotiate their terrain instinctively.

I love the line “Their infallible sense of what their lives are meant to be.” Just like the lilies of the field, those other kingdoms exist in ways that allow the world that includes us to grow sweetly wild, when we are attentive and mindful to the world.

Consider the other kingdoms. The
trees, for example, with their mellow-sounding
titles: oak, aspen, willow.
Or the snow, for which the peoples of the north
have dozens of words to describe its
different arrivals. Or the creatures, with their
thick fur, their shy and wordless gaze. Their
infallible sense of what their lives
are meant to be. Thus the world
grows rich, grows wild, and you too,
grow rich, grow sweetly wild, as you too
were born to be.

About ivonprefontaine

I am a retired educator who recently completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. My dissertation topic and research was how teachers experience becoming who they are as teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

9 responses »

  1. Sometimes we work too hard at fitting in with the world around us. I’ve given up and become a lone wolf.

    Reply
  2. Oh how I love Mary Oliver, she speaks to the core of my soul. As I have grown older, I have grown more sweetly wild!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: The Other Kingdoms | wind in my wheels

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: