Mary Oliver has nudged me in a good direction so many times. Today, again. I was about to perform at the Homegrown Music Cafe, and I was nervous. (What a wonderful organization that is, by the way. Homegrown Music Cafe is a sweet concert venue at St. Gerard Majella Church’s Chapel in Port Jefferson Station, NY–where once a month, everyone involved donates their time and skill to put on a high quality live music event…and the proceeds go to needy families on Long Island) Anyway, I was nervous about what the concert would be like. I hadn’t really performed since my concussion in December, and I wasn’t sure if my brain would cooperate. Early in the afternoon, I happened upon the following healing gem in a book of poems I’d opened:
WHEN I AM AMONG THE TREES, by Mary Oliver
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
So. I took it in. I, too, have come into the world to do this:
1. to go easy
2. to be filled with light
3. and to shine.
Man. This I can do. And I did. It’s true that there were some brain blips in the concert. But all in all, the audience and I had a great time. Thank God for this organization, that is helping people out in such a creative, wonderful way. And thank God for Mary Oliver, for reminding me of all the truly important stuff…just at the right time.