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Matching Dresses, Spanish Moss and Other Worlds

As a young girl growing up in Toledo, Ohio, my family took a "big deal" camping trip to the foreign land of St. Augustine, Florida. This trip was such a big deal that my Mom got out her sewing machine and made us matching dresses; it was her first and last attempt at making any clothing. A couple of weeks ago, I returned to St. Augustine fifty-plus years later with my daughter - no matching dresses! When we arrived at our campground, we were greeted by trees covered in spanish moss, hanging like unwoven bird nests from craggy limbs. Oh, how fascinated I was then and now. The sight of other worlds continue to feed my soul.

Mary Oliver beautifully captures the essence of moments like these. Go easy my friends, find a grove of trees and stay awhile. Take time to replenish.


by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,

especially the willows and the honey locust,

equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,

they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,

in which I have goodness, and discernment,

and never hurry through the world

but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves

and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,

“and you too have come

into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled

with light, and to shine.”

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