Sleeping In The Forest

Sleeping In The Forest

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

from Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver
© Mary Oliver

One of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver , I find alot of comfort in her writing. If you are a lover of nature , plants and animals and just observing our magical world you will too :)

This poem reminds me of the summer nights I used to sleep outside just for fun , no tent , just under the stars... it's alot different than camping in a tent with the shell around you.

That was when I lived on a little Island in the Pacific N.W. for 15 years. The Island is Lopez Island and it is a very sweet place , at it's longest it is only appx. 14 miles long , population about 1,500 . I miss all my friends and community there, and the freedom to sleep under the stars.
We are living in California now and I am not really ready for sleeping outside here quite yet.. since there are skunks , rattlesnakes and poison oak here ... none of those are on Lopez ...
it's enough to put me off sleeping out here for now...

Today is a good day , and any day really to lay belly flat on the Earth and give her a great big hug. She is the mother of us all :)

Ten things we can do to help save this lovely planet .. and ourselves :)


  1. Beautiful poem and blog. Love it.

  2. Beautiful, so beautiful...

  3. Yes, I must say too - Beautiful

  4. I share your love of Mary Oliver's work, Lupen. This one changed my life one day:

    The Summer Day

    Who made the world?
    Who made the swan, and the black bear?
    Who made the grasshopper?
    This grasshopper, I mean-
    the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
    the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
    who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
    who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
    Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
    Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
    I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
    I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
    into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
    how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
    which is what I have been doing all day.
    Tell me, what else should I have done?
    Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
    Tell me, what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?

    I also live in California. I, too, have slept under the stars in my home country of South Africa. Nothing like waking up with dew on your face. What a gift that you have the experience and memory of living on your beloved Lopez Island. So many never feel the longing and connection to place and nature as you do.

  5. Thanks everyone :)

    and thank you for sharing the poem Leefee
    That's one of her poems that really cuts to the core for me too :)