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 keep 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

 I was struck by the message of this poem. It’s through our journey in life we learn how to become ourself. Amongst the chaos of society and the pressures that vie for our attention, it sometimes seems impossible to find your voice. However, as you grow to learn to overcome obstacles and difficulties along the way, you realize it gets easier to move forward from these experiences. Suddenly, you realize that the mindful voice of your heart is the one that’s been there to guide you throughout your journey to yourself.

Needless to say, I needed to find out more about this poet Mary Oliver. Maria Popova, of Brain Pickings recently wrote about Mary Oliver and “How Books Saved Her Life and Why the Passion for Work is the Greatest Antidote to Pain.”  When I found out that Mary Oliver is a pet lover and wrote a book of poems entitled Dog SongsI knew I would like her even more!


Did this poem resonate with you? Let me know in the comments below.



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