Friday, August 22, 2008


Gratitude

It’s happened twice this week. On our evening walk, just as the heavy day was sleepily handing itself over to the soft golden night, on the wind, we could hear them coming. Far off yet, but distinct, the strange, celestial sound of the geese. Getting closer, ever closer, until the leader topped the tallest trees followed by the entire glorious flock in flawless formation, calling lustily to each other with glee. Transfixed by the sight and the sound of them, Edward and I stopped to gaze upward. Edward’s brown eyes watched them fly, appearing to silently recognize a holy affiliation with these wondrous creatures at which I, clad in my wardrobe of human imperfection, could only guess. Not for the first time, I marveled at how truly little we know, how small we really are, and how dark indeed is the glass through which we see. The beautiful mystery that is all around us, seen and unseen, must be infinite.

Edward looked up at me and smiled. We walked on. I felt only gratitude.

“....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.”

by Mary Oliver from her poem “Wild Geese”

45 comments:

  1. The poem is lovely, and so true! Those moments when we can truly connect with the beauty of the world around us are so precious.

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  2. Dogs do smile, don't they? Mine can do all sorts of expressions - he can smile, frown, look interested, look cross and he has a look that says, OK, when are you going to do something interesting like throw me a stick?

    And that quote from Gertrude Jekyll is just so true. Lovely blog.

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  3. The moment when you find yourself connected to the cosmos in that magical way that awe of creation produces is somehow completely settling to the spirit and produces true joy. Lucky you to have that experience this week.

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  4. Oh how lovely! I love that illustration too.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  5. I love this post so much...pure sweetness.

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  6. You truly have a gift for writing, I so enjoyed reading this post.
    Just think if Edward and his friends could talk -- we could learn so much from them.
    Wishing you an enjoyable week-end.

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  7. Oh how wonderful Pamela, thank-you.You paint a beautiful picture through this magical and humbling piece of writing.A little cameo of precious time betweeen you and Edward.Such a special experience.You write so well.

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  8. My dog has a half smile, my niece dog has a full on smile. love it.

    sweet post!!

    thank you for your great comment!

    JOni

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  9. Wow, your writing leaves me humbled Pamela. So beautifully written, I was there with you and Edward. I shall have to try harder with my tales of our woodland walks. Buster mostly seems to look worried! He would surely try and catch the geese. I adore the picture too. Very childlike.
    xxx

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  10. Beautiful picture (-who is it by?) and lovely poem. I was sailing once in late Summer just as Autumn was starting. All at once a whole flock of Canadian Geese just took off as one and flew straight over the boat very low as they gained height. They were about to embark for home I thought. The sight was stunning and stayed with me all these years.

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  11. I could hardly notice the geese for the gorgeous cottage. What a beautiful place to be able to spend some time. You have such a gift of being able to connect us with the experience through words. There are surprises and experiences in each of our days if only we can hear them or see them.

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  12. I find myself looking forward to your posts very much as you put into words so beautifully what I cannot as I do not have a gift for writing. Watching the geese flying over always brings a lump to my throat.
    I know Ambleside very well, I agree Autumn is often the best time of year here though late spring can be quieter and beautiful too.

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  13. Oh I love that quote! I may have to put that on my blog sidebar! What a fantastic philosophy! And your story is so nice. It's great to spend time with animals and children. It helps me remember to get outside of my own head and look around at the wonders surrounding me!

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  14. Pamela,

    You have a wonderful way of making me really appreciate the world we live in. For that, thank you.

    Melissa

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  15. Lovely Post. Thanks for dropping by my Blog and leaving your inspiring comments.

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  16. Edward looks so happy. He is a goldendoodle isn't he?
    I took a look at your beautiful portfolio also.
    Donna

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  17. Another poignant post. Later in fall, October and November lots of geese fly over our little village. Flying in their great V formations honking cheerily as they go and I also always stop to gaze up at them and I wonder what they're are saying to each other. Are they shouting out encouraging thoughts or are they gossiping amongst each other about the happenings at their last pit stop ?

    Hearing the geese flying over is always such a bittersweet feeling, it means another season is ending and a new one beginning. Time keeps on passing by.

    Their camaraderie and co-operation always so inspiring. Nature is truly remarkable.

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  18. That was lovely! And Gal is pushing me to tell Edward the Royal that he hasn't yet got a portrait, but he has a special blog posting at the mo. Tristram to follow at some stage. Have a lovely weekend and thanks for all the kind visits. Eleanor

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  19. That was lovely! And Gal is pushing me to tell Edward the Royal that he hasn't yet got a portrait, but he has a special blog posting at the mo. Tristram to follow at some stage. Have a lovely weekend and thanks for all the kind visits. Eleanor

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  20. Seeing geese flying in formation always fascinates me, and their aerodynamics. They always stop me in my tracks too. Such an enchanting illustration. x

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  21. I've already commented on the lovely post but I keep meaning to comment on your Gertrude Jekyll quote. My other half belongs to a Horticultural Society and we visited her gorgeous garden a while ago. I loved it. Her ideas were amazing and inspiring.
    BT
    x

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  22. Thank you for sharing this magical moment..You can paint with words...

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  23. This was so lovely...I heard them this morning as I let Lizzie out for her run...They were so faint and then that glorious sounds grew louder and louder....What a beautiful poem and poignant reflection...

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  24. What a charming (and perfect) illustration you found (or is it your own creation?) for this post. I want to go and live in that cottage!
    The poem is riveting...I've seen Mary Oliver quoted elsewhere recently...I think at Mrs. Nesbitt's Place...I must find out more about Mary Oliver.

    Thank you for visiting and leaving your encouraging comment. I've just spent a few moments perusing your blog for the first time and find it delightful. I'll be back.

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  25. Mary Oliver has recently become one of my favorite poets after I read her poem "The Summer Day."
    She is remarkable.

    The geese have not yet started their migration in our area..very soon though, I'm sure.

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  26. Please drop by "Reflections in The Afternoon" for something special...

    Gillian

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  27. Ah, the illustration...another gorgeous one - I always love the pictures you choose!

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  28. It is truly these small gifts of nature that verify irrefutably the existence of God.

    Kat

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  29. Where do you find all these lovely prints? I love them!

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  30. I believe that all dogs smile, it is our blind human eyes which can't see. Lovely post.

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  31. Over from Gina's place Pamela -

    The calling of the geese - how beautifully you described it. Living here in Alberta they are often called Sky Carp....which I think is horrible but it is because they often take over the farmer's fields and munch on the grain. I say - what do the farmers expect?

    Did you know that you can't see them at night as they fly past? I found that out last week...and I've seen our Canadian Geese all of my life!

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  32. Hello Pamela and Edward!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind words. You too have a lovely blog, so it looks as if I'm going to be popping over here again :)
    Have a magical day
    x

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  33. Beautiful, soulful.

    I remember those geese that signified fall. I miss them.

    Oh boy do dogs smile...not unlike us. If not with their mouth, with their eyes!

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  34. Love that picture and what the poem says is very true.

    tea
    xo

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  35. Lovely post - you are always so eloquent!

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  36. The geese have not started to migrate here yet. Many geese come here for the winter while others fly south. The storks and swallows are leaving. They say in Holland that when the swallows leave, the summer has ended.

    Hugs ~
    Heidi

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  37. Thank you so much for add me to your Splendid Locales...i am in Great company!

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  38. That's lovely Pamela... and so is the picture :) Is it Carl Larsson?
    x Rima

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  39. My sweet dog, Bentley certainly misses his friend at home and knows that something is up - he does not want to eat, but smiles at me to give me hope and loves to go for walks and reminds me to look up. I have always loved the V formation, that it one goose goes down, then one follows to the aid of the one down. Thanks for your kind words. Forever grateful.

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  40. I love your blog Pamela, and Edward is so gorgeous. I just want to give him a big hug : )

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  41. I remember the first time I heard the geese fly overhead here in England. It was last fall at my daughter's school. I was standing right by the rugby fields basking in the cool, Autumn air and all of a sudden, I heard this schwoop, schwoop sound. When I looked up, they were they were, huge overhead.

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  42. How true! Gratitude is one of our greatest blessings...

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  43. Love the illustration. Our area has been inundated by flocks of Canada geese - they no longer migrate so their numbers are increasing rapidly. Although we feed some at a nearby pond, we find them so messy on the ground......but when they fly over, honking loudly, their formation and determination to return to water is quite beautiful.
    And then, they land, as if on skis, screeching to a stop among the pond ripples, huge and hungry!

    Thank you for painting your picture and for sharing Edward's smile.

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  44. I share your fascination with these wonderful birds (see http://julietdoyle.blogspot.com/search/label/Wild%20geese ). Thank you for visiting my blog: I am enjoying making the acquaintance of yours, and loved this post (and its illustration) especially. I'll be back! Best wishes from the Muddy Island, Juliet.

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I love to read your comments! Each and every one!