Wild Geese

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.

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This Mary Oliver poem is iconic, a classic often quoted, and for good reason. Her words are such an invitation to belonging, to accepting ourselves just as we are.

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The Weighing

The Weighing

by Jane Hirshfield

So few grains of happiness
measured against all the dark
and still the scales balance.

The world asks of us
only the strength we have and we give it.
Then it asks more, and we give it.

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These lines leapt from the page and into my heart so directly and profoundly, I didn’t even realize there are two previous stanzas in this poem, meaningful in their own way, until much later. But it was these words that became a chant, a confirmation of my own beliefs.

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