In the woods
The bee is not afraid of me,
I know the butterfly;
The pretty people in the woods
Receive me cordially.
The brooks laugh louder when I come,
The breezes madder play.
Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists?
Wherefore, O summer’s day?
I wasn’t all that fond of Emily Dickinson’s poems when I was younger. I much preferred Edna St. Vincent Millay, or Robert Frost. As I’ve grown older, though, I like her work more and more. I suppose it’s partly because my own life much more closely resembles hers than it did in my younger years.
After we moved to York County, I settled into a lifestyle of spending most of every day in the company of only my beloved “critters,” whether our dog, or the turtles, birds, rabbits, squirrels and deer in our wooded lot behind our back yard. It was during these years that I began to identify with many of the things Dickinson wrote about. Solitude was rich and full for me, a sort of luxury. I never felt lonely in nature’s company, and from the sound of her poems, it seems that she didn’t either.
I’m guessing many of you also can identify with the solace Dickinson found outdoors. If so, I wish you an abundance of such delight during these waning summer days.
P.S. — If you follow the Writer’s Almanac, you know that this is another recent selection from the program that Jeff plucked for me.