In the woods

Our own little wonderland, right behind our back fence, as seen in May 2013

Our own little wonderland, right behind our back fence, as seen in May 2013

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?

Emily Dickinson

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.


  1. LB

    Good morning, Julia. I’m just back from my morning walk / run and your post is such a fitting way to move forward. I leave each morning in the dark and the bunnies, deer, cats, and yes, skunks are my company. I love running / walking the quiet streets when no one else is out and about.
    I’m learning more about poets and poetry but have never been a huge fan. But I’m gaining more appreciation all the time. I know you don’t have a moment to spare, but if you ever find a minute, check out my let post for an intro to a blogger / poet friend of mine.

    • LB, living where you live and walking where you walk (and riding where you ride), poetry is something you live even if you don’t read about it. But I’m glad you have friends who celebrate the wonderful world of words. I enjoyed the poem by Jim – thanks for sharing it!

  2. I find great solace outdoors among nature. I’m pretty sure my love of gardening and hiking lead to an emotional balance in my life, that I wouldn’t otherwise have. Love to you, Julia. I’m happy you’ve landed in such a beautiful place.

    • Thank you Alys. I agree that being outdoors is a great source of stability and perspective, for which I’m so grateful!

      • I know you are, Julia. You’re the most self aware person I know.

        • I hope that’s mostly a good thing! 🙂 Although it’s downright uncomfortable when I’m having a bad day.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: