Dear Mary Oliver

Thank you for writing beautiful and heart-pulling poetry. It delivers a sense of wonderment with the world and beckons us to engage in our endless relationship with nature. 

I was lucky enough to observe wild geese swimming in New Orleans City Park last week. Strange timing perhaps, as I stumbled upon your poem during my flight down south.

The wild geese waded on a pond surrounded by HUGE live oak trees, their thick branches plummeting to the earth before shooting back up, their wispy leaves hanging everywhere. The gang of geese approached me on the bank. I was still and a little uneasy -- the beasts getting so close that I could see the details of their feathers, so close that I could see into their eyes.

We stared at each other, the geese and I, for a few minutes and I wondered what they might be thinking. Probably if I had food to offer or I suppose they could have been considering an attack. (Obviously, I was outnumbered.) Or they simply had curiosity about another being sitting on the edge of their pond. They swam away, eventually heading home.

I'll never know what the geese were thinking. But no matter. I still love to wonder what. These words that you write, about the world offering itself to our imaginations. Maybe the geese think nothing and I think everything.

Nevertheless, I was comforted on that slow afternoon by their floating, wild presence and your floating, calm words.