Wednesday, November 25, 2020


This morning we took a tiring but rousing 5-mile walk through what is known as The Great Swamp, a strikingly wild-looking area in southern Rhode Island. The longer we walked, the more weary I became, but at the same I started feeling a surprising sense of unrestraint and spontaneity, as if the wildness of the swamp was seeping into me. Most people would not describe a swamp as beautiful, but to me there was a sort of fierce and untamed loveliness all around. Broken trees, tangled vines, and small pools of sluggish water somehow made a scene of ferocious elegance, and I started feeling as free and rowdy as the swamp looked. Yes, I was tired at the end, but also revived and enlivened. May the spirit of The Great Swamp stay with me!

And here’s a look at that spirit:


(a poem about Ellie G., 42, Blessings, CT)
She feels almost swamped 
with abilities and possibilities, 
like millions of bright balloons 
are ascending inside her life,
a life she feels flowing out forever
in never-ending ways. 
She loves to watch
the way the wind works, 
because it tumbles and rolls and dangles 
like her life does,
just like every moment lifts the lid off
endless options and chances 
and everlasting alternatives. 
She feels positively flooded
with wealth, 
as if gifts are forever thronging her, 
bringing a breathless number of pathways 
to nonchalantly choose from.


“The Great Swamp”, oil, by Martin Joseph Heade (1868)

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