After reading here book of poems, entitled Thirst, and reviewing her book, I thought I was done with Mary Oliver. But I'm not. I really enjoy these poems and keep returning to them. This one really shines with God's light in creation, and in us. The trees "almost" save her, but don't, really, and I know what she means. Their age and beauty testify to God's goodness. She is "so distant from the hope of myself," and I feel the humility that walking among great trees, and before a great and holy God, may bring. And God calls us to shine like stars, to hold out light, as is urged here.
When I Am Among the Trees
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and 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."