Friday, August 13, 2010

august 13/Weekly Reflection (week 31): borrowing words

Last day of our vacation ... packing more than our suitcases as we have one last lovely summer day to soak up the pleasures of Cape Cod.

Each vacation I find myself wondering how I can carry home with me the gifts gained from a week's break from my life: the simplicity of days spent enjoying time together, time outside, time exploring all that is around us. This will be my reflection as we make our way home and back into the busyness of daily life. I hope I can retain this sense of slowing down, prioritizing and mindfully choosing those things that enhance the sense of wonder and joy rather than that which depletes me. No room for worries on vacation and I am hoping I can keep that door shut once we get home.

Since I am on the Cape, it seems fitting to borrow the words of one of my favorite poet who best translates the whispered wisdom of this area to attentive ears and eyes.

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

- Mary Oliver


  1. Another beautiful poem! I'm sure you will find ways to keep your vacation spirit with you as you return to your regular routine. Happy weekend!

  2. What a beautiful poem - so full of meaning! I hadn't heard this one.
    Glad you had a wonderful holiday!
    Take care.

  3. Lis-your vacation (on Cape Cod) looks so amazing...beautiful, nostalgic, summery goodness. Yes, it is nice to be able to carry the vacation mode into our everyday lives. To just be present, in the moment. It looks like you all had tremendous fun...especially sweet buttercup (cowgirl). Thank you so much for all the kind words you have left on my blog...they are so much appreciated during this time of ...doing so much! things should settle down...soon?!!xxx

  4. p.s. love Mary Oliver-love this poem! And I also love your "distressed look" pics. I have to try to experiment with that when I get achance. I just love the effects.

  5. beautiful words and photos ~ a good place to return to when the days seem to pick up their pace!

  6. This brought tears to my eyes (again). May you carry exactly what you need with you each day and leave behind exactly what you don't.

    Safe return.

  7. I hope you are able to make your everyday life feel like vacation with the ability to focus on simple joys and the things that fill you with happiness. I hope you'll share any secrets you discover with us!!

    I am mulling over my own need to clear the unnecessary from my life, simplify & focus on things that truly fullfill me. Thanks for the inspiring post & poem!!

  8. beautiful poem, photo, and reflection.
    it seems crazy doesn't it that we've created societies where we take life slowly and relax for a week or two a year.