“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

August 26, 2015 0 comments

“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Now truly consider her words, letting them sink in. “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”

I first read those words quoted in a book from my favorite author, Dr. Wayne Dyer.  Although Mary Oliver is very well known poet, it was the first I’d heard of her. Her words seeped into my soul. Despite the fact that I am generally not a cryer, I instantly felt a knot forming in my throat and I was moved to tears. How simple, yet profound.

A light bulb went off in my brain. Mary Oliver, dammit, you are absolutely correct. I DO NOT have to be good! I DO NOT have to walk on my knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting! I don’t have to prove anything, to myself or another, because I am God’s creation, meant to be as I am in this moment. And that is good enough. Perfect, even. All part of the great plan. 

Divinity. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Friendship. Vulnerability. Belonging.

So tell me, do you read this poem and find it’s truth, like I did?

More, please:

The Invitation

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

I'm ready to improve my health & well-being

lifestyle changes


Integrative health coaching is an action-oriented solution.  You're ready to improve your health & well-being through lifestyle changes.

How could coaching

support help you?

Let's talk


We'll spend up to thirty minutes discussing your unique health history and goals to find out if coaching support is the right choice for you. 

It's a NO OBLIGATION,

free discovery call

get to know us a little better

Regular Doses of wellness delivered to your inbox. 

Twice monthly.  No spam, ever.


Watch the latest video blog post, 3 ways to avoid major stress and potential failure when trying to make healthy lifestyle changes now and learn: 1. Why resisting the urge to overhaul your entire routine, eating plan, etc is the most important thing you can do, even if you're fed-up-to-here with yourself.  2. Why choosing to start with easy doesn't mean you're lazy; it means you're smart. 3. Why micro-goals can actually help get you healthier, faster. 

  • Gain perspective
  • Become more resilient
  • Navigate complex health issues
  • Increase your sense of well-being 
>