Monday, December 13, 2010

Stolen with gratitude

There is this friend I have in Nashville and her birthday is tomorrow. (You'll notice that a lot of people in my life are December babies like me! What can I say...birds of a feather flock together.)

I could spend about two hours writing about how much she has changed my life since I moved here a year and a half ago. How much love she has given me and how much strength I have gained from watching her grow and change this past year. But that would be mushy, and who really wants to read mushy?

She has two birthdays really...December 14th and February1st. The first is the day of her actual birth (thanks Momma Lemon, you did good!) and the second is the day of her re-birth, a day in which she was able to start over. She's told me that she wants to hold off on the real celebration until February... but I couldn't let this week pass by without a note of love and gratitude for the day that made her exist in the first place.

So to honor her, I stole a poem from her blog. Us teachers have a snow day down here in Nashville. And, although there are about a million things I love about this woman, her ability to bring poems into my life may be at the top of that list. So here is one that I had hanging by my desk in graduate school, but forgot about until it showed up from her just the other day.

Love you A. Happy Birthday week.

Walking Home from Oak-Head
There is something
about the snow-laden sky
in winter
in the late afternoon
that brings to the heart elation
and the lovely meaninglessness
of time.
Whenever I get home - whenever -
somebody loves me there.
I stand in the same dark peace
as any pine tree,
or wander on slowly
like the still unhurried wind,
as for a gift,
for the snow to begin
which it does
at first casually,
then, irrepressibly.
Wherever else I live -
in music, in words,
in the fires of the heart,
I abide just as deeply
in this nameless, indivisible place,
this world,
which is falling apart now,
which is white and wild,
which is faithful beyond all our expressions of faith,
our deepest prayers.
Don't worry, sooner or later I'll be home.
Red-cheeked from the roused wind,
I'll stand in the doorway
stamping my boots and slapping my hands,
my shoulders
covered with stars.
~ Mary Oliver ~


  1. This is the loveliest birthday present!!! I am enjoying the poem with memories of a snow-filled Radnor walk...

  2. How delicious Nell! I'm thinking seriously about a re-birth birthday. What a wonderful idea... Perhaps when I discovered Whidbey - Sending love to you on this day!

  3. oohhhh ahhhhhh that poem is sooo heartbreakingly beautiful and feels like so much of my life in the woods right now. damn i miss you lady. any chances of crossing paths this year? xoxo joanne