I think I already told you about it, but my friend and teacher Laurie shared a Mary Oliver poem on her blog that I hadn’t heard before, or didn’t remember hearing. It’s such a powerful metaphor for everything I’m feeling, thinking, doing right now, and also everything about where I come from. Then this morning, when I was suggesting to my book club that we change our focus in the next year, I thought of it again, and remembered the picture my brother took of the hen house on my grandma’s farm. The poem is called “Farm Country.”
I have sharpened my knives, I have
Put on the heavy apron.
Maybe you think life is chicken soup, served
In blue willow-pattern bowls.
I have put on my boots and opened
The kitchen door and stepped out
Into the sunshine. I have crossed the lawn.
I have entered
The hen house.
For me, this poem says everything about right now, about the reality of the situation and what has to be done. And there’s something about that little detail, “stepped out into the sunshine” that allows for the tiniest glimmer of faith, trust in the basic goodness of things, knowing that it’s time to get to work and at least for now the sun will keep coming up.