Wild Geese and Scabiosa

With the wind whistling through the trees tonight, I spent some time looking through my photographs from this past summer. I came across this picture of Scabiosa caucasica – one of my all-time favourite flowers.It’s hard to believe that it is already November. When I took the dog outside last tonight, I heard the sound of geese flying overhead and thought of their long flight to a warmer place. I was reminded of this poem 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.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

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.

14 thoughts on “Wild Geese and Scabiosa

  1. teeni says:

    Wow. Nice poem and beautiful scabiosa! The ones I’ve ever seen around here are always so ratty looking. Yours looked wonderful! Thanks for that!

  2. Barbara says:

    I like poems very much and “yours” is lovely too. I’ve never seen geese flying, that must have been an exciting sight. We don’t have wild geese here in Switzerland!Enjoy your weekend!Barbara

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. She does connect with nature in such a wonderful way.

  4. Kate says:

    What a beautiful blue those flowers are – I’m not familiar with the species but they are wonderfully showy. You do have a lovely garden.

  5. Schmutzie says:

    I swear that I have never seen that kind of flower before. They are just gorgeous. And thanks for reminding me of that Mary Oliver poem. I love her stuff.

  6. Marie says:

    Scabiosa caucasica is one of my all-time favourite flowers too! The poem is beautiful!Have a nice evening :o)

  7. Diane says:

    I too love the scabiosa, and so do my hummingbirds. My flowers are long since finished, black, and now getting covered with snow. Mary Oliver is probably my number 1 favourite poet. How coincidental that last night I opened up her book, Thirst, and read a few of the entries.I’m so pleased to have unearthed your blog … Warmly,Dianehttp://sandtoglass.blogspot.com/http://dogsnaturally.blogspot.com/

  8. Annie in Austin says:

    There’s one flower left on my ‘Butterfly Blue’ scabiosa, Kate – how will I ever look at that flower in future without thinking of you? Other garden bloggers like Tom Spencer from Soul of the Garden introduced me to Mary Oliver and it’s always good to read one of her poems. I’m glad you have lots of friends who enjoy the ‘wooly’ posts! The photos are pretty but ever since we moved here I can’t bear the thought of clothing made of yarn. Annie at the Transplantable Rose[the word verification is “fkful”… what a combination]

  9. Mary says:

    Wow. Your Scabiosa is just beautiful. It would be a favorite of mine, too. So pale blue and delicate…I had never read Mary Oliver until I started blogging. I find myself reading her poems not once, but twice. She’s a delight to read, like you.

  10. No Rain says:

    This is my favorite Mary Oliver poem. Thanks for posting. It has inspired me to pull out her book of poetry and read awhile.Aiyana

  11. jodi says:

    Funny that you should post your scabiosa, Kate: I remember thinking at the time this was the most beautiful photo of one I’d ever seen. It inspired me to go out and do some macro shots of mine, and one of them I’m going to actually print and mount and frame! It’s a rather underused flower, don’t you find?

  12. this is my patch says:

    Yes, I can’t get my head around the fact that it is November, even though today over here is fairly cold, it has been unseasonably mild up until now. My very pale blue scabious, very similar if not the same as yours, is still flowering. x

  13. Clare says:

    Hi Kate! I see why you love “Scabiosa caucasica” — it’s so beautiful — it reminds me of a lovely old fashioned dress. And I have always adored Mary Oliver. I’ve got her books, and a couple of years ago I went to a reading and book signing by her. I hope to see her next spring, too, so I’m really excited about that. Thanks for sharing her wild geese poem!:)

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