I’ve decided that — along with wilderness medical training, an affable disposition, a solid menu of camp meals, a few good knots, and several canoe strokes — every wilderness guide really ought to have at least one Mary Oliver poem committed to memory.
I’m starting with the most obvious selection: The Summer Day.
My dogs looked at me funny while we were walking beside the river yesterday. I don’t usually recite poetry out loud on the trail. I think maybe, now, that is something that I will usually do.
“…who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.” That’s the line that spoke to me yesterday. That image of the wild creature way of bearing witness to the world. That’s the verse that’s informing my movements, intentions, and interactions today.