Reading this poem by James Wright, who left us too soon in 1980 at the age of 53, I think of the May Full Flower Moon.
Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass,
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
This year, I also think especially of reprieve. For months, leading up to my electrical cardioversion procedure in late April, my heart had beat too fast and erratically, and the only way to reset it was to shock it back to its natural pattern.
Isn’t the end of something always like that? You go along in your body, in your relationships at home, or work, or school thinking everything’s fine, or just off for a day or two when bam! Fate takes you by the scruff of the neck and gives you a good shaking. Then you need to find a new stride that is like the natural stride you’ve deviated from.
My cardiologist told me after I woke up that I had “a tired heart,” but that it would repair itself over the next several weeks and be happy and energized once again. Indeed, every day since has felt like a breaking into blossom.
Here is a May Full Flower Moon exercise you might try. Take your journal outside and sit down among the flowers that are blooming everywhere. Perhaps you’re lucky to be near what W. B. Yeats called a “bee-loud glade.” Whether you are seated or lying on your back in the cool grass, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Enjoy the enlivening scents and the soothing sounds that meet you. As you continue to inhale and exhale, imagine that you are a flower budding, then blossoming. Enjoy this delicious reprieve from a hibernating winter. Become a raucous celebration! When you are ready, write down any sensations and observations that continue to play in your mind.
Every day, make time to commune with the flowers everywhere. They delight us and remind us to be grateful for this blossoming new year.