Thank you, Mary Oliver.

Mary Oliver is my favorite poet.

So much of her work speaks to my soul, challenges me, invites me to a deeper sense of self.

Her passing today hit me harder than I expected. A dear friend introduced me to her and the specific poem he invited me to reflect on was Wild Geese. It is my favorite and one of the most challenging of her pieces for me.

Another of my favorites is The Invitation.

I’ll share with you an excerpt from When Death Comes, which is also an aspiration for me:

When it's over, I want to say all my lifeI was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. 

When it's over, I don't want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real. 

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument. 

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Thank you, Mary Oliver, for speaking to my soul.