I Thought The Earth Remembered Me

Yesterday I needed a break. I’ve been going non-stop for over 2-weeks. I felt off-balance, disconnected and un-grounded. I probably should have listened to my wife who suggested that I take Monday off. But the little voice inside me was too strong. “You have too much to do. You can’t take a day off. Blah blah blah.”

By yesterday afternoon I knew I had no choice.

So after a nice lunch with a good friend, I walked up into the hills of Annadel State Park. I had not walked very far when a clearing at the top of a hill called to me. I wandered off the trail a bit, found a soft spot and laid myself down in the tall grass.

And I listened to the sounds of the Earth around me. Songbirds were singing in the gnarled Oak trees, a bee would occasionally buzz by, and every so often a puff of wind rustled the hanging seed pods of the grass that hung over me.

I drifted in an out of sleep, content to let my body sink into the arms of the Earth and find its center once more.

And as my body found its center and my mind loosened its grip, one of Mary Oliver’s poems drifted into my awareness.

Sleeping in the Forest

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

from Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver
© Mary Oliver

As these words poured through me, I felt humble and blessed that the Earth did, indeed, remember me, even though I had forgotten her for these past two weeks.

It is so easy to forget the Earth. It is so easy to get caught up in the seductive call of computers and phones and seminars and cars and kids and other distractions.

But the wonderful thing about the Earth is that, no matter how long we forget her, no matter how disconnected we become, she always remembers us and she will always welcome us tenderly back.

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      13 Responses to “I Thought The Earth Remembered Me”

      1. Mark on April 26th, 2007 11:59 am

        Sounds like you had a wonderful rejuvination. Thanks for sharing the poem. The earth is very forgiving to us.

      2. Karen Lynch on April 26th, 2007 4:20 pm

        This post is a beautiful reminder of life. Thank you!

      3. Edward Mills on April 26th, 2007 4:22 pm

        Mark and Karen. You’re both very welcome. It was amazingly rejuvenating. And it was a clear reminder of how much I need my time out in nature.

      4. Today is that Day on April 26th, 2007 8:37 pm


        I am normally pretty much “anti-poetry” simply because I have never had the proper ear to appreciate what I know is a beautiful art form.

        However, that being said, this was a great post. It’s after midnight as I type this, and your words took me to that hilltop in the afternoon sun. Great stuff!

      5. Edward Mills on April 27th, 2007 12:56 pm

        Hi Aaron

        I totally get where you’re coming from. It took me a long time to “get” poetry. I had to get out of mind – not a simple task for a highly intellectual like myself. But once I had a couple of experiences when I was able to connect with the poetry on a feeling/intuitive level, I have been hooked ever since.

      6. Shelly Fitz on April 28th, 2007 2:53 pm

        So true. I love this post!

      7. Karen Lim on April 29th, 2007 1:55 am

        I totally agree with you. Sometimes simple things are the ones which we need in life.

        Thumbs up for putting such a wondering blog dedicating to Law of Attraction.

      8. Edward Mills on May 3rd, 2007 9:41 am

        Thanks Shelly!

        Karen. You’re right on. It’s the simple things that make the difference.

        Lucid. I missed you before! Sorry. It’s so true that we are made of the same stuff as the Earth. And ultimately our bodies will become part of the Earth again. It’s nice to take time to remember that while we’re still conscious!

      9. Evolving Times » Here You Are Alive. Would You Like To Make A Comment? on May 26th, 2007 6:06 am

        […] Last night my wife and I were browsing a local bookstore when I came across a new (for me) Mary Oliver book, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings. Mary has always been one of my favorite poets. When I feel disconnected from the wild world of nature and spirit and can’t immediately get out into the woods or to the ocean, I can always get a temporary fix by reading her poetry. When I read her poems I feel like I am breathing in the essence of nature. […]

      10. highvibeit.com on June 2nd, 2007 11:58 am

        Evolving Times » I Thought The Earth Remembered Me…

        A beautiful evocation of the healing nature of Earth….

      11. Walks the Edge on June 2nd, 2007 12:10 pm

        Just high-vibed your article (I loved it). If you would like to participate in the high-vibe game, 1.Write a new post about your five favorite tricks for “Raising Your Vibes”.

        2.Link back to OptimistLab and the person who tagged you at the top of your post.

        3.Give your attention to five (or more if you want) deserving bloggers by picking one high-quality post by each blogger.

        4.Tag these bloggers by going to high Vibe it, (a news sharing site, I’ll explain more about it farther down), and submiting your “Raising Your Vibes” post and the five posts you picked.

        5.Tell each blogger you picked that they’ve been tagged either through email or by leaving a comment.

      12. The Growing Edge » High Vibes Again on June 2nd, 2007 12:30 pm

        […] The earth remembered me. Evocative and poetic, a reminder of how nature can heal and bring us back to ourselves. […]

      13. Evolving Times » Time To High Vibe It on June 7th, 2007 9:14 am

        […] Without a doubt, my number one method for raising my vibration is getting out into nature. Connecting with the Earth almost always lifts me up. Ideally, I would get out into the wild where I can feel alone and listen […]

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