The Center for Interfaith Relations is revisiting Festival of Faiths catalogues in search of insight, wisdom and inspiration. Our hope is that these written words will spur meaningful reflection and serve as a beacon of hope amid challenging times.

“Pink Moon – The Pond”

By Mary Oliver (American Poet)

Previously published in the catalogue for the 2018 Festival of Faiths, “Sacred Insight, Feminine Wisdom”

You think it will never happen again.
Then, one night in April,
the tribes wake trilling.
You walk down to the shore.
Your coming stills them,
but little by little the silence lifts
until song is everywhere
and your soul rises from your bones
and strides out over the water.
It is a crazy thing to do –
for no one can live like that,
floating around in the darkness
over the gauzy water.
Left on the shore your bones
keep shouting come back!
But your soul won’t listen;
in the distance it is sparkling
like hot wires. So,
like a good friend,
you decide to follow.
You step off the shore
and plummet to your knees –
you slog forward to your thighs
and sink to your cheekbones –
and now you are caught
by the cold chains of the water –
you are vanishing while around you
the frogs continue to sing, driving
their music upward through your own throat,
not even noticing
you are someone else.
And that’s when it happens –
you see everything
through their eyes,
their joy, their necessity;
you wear their webbed fingers;
your throat swells.
And thats when you know
you will live whether you will or not,
one way or another,
because everything is everything else,
one long muscle.
It’s no more mysterious than that.
So you relax, you don’t fight it anymore,
the darkness coming down
called water,
called spring,
called the green leaf, called
a woman’s body
as it turns into mud and leaves,
as it betas in its cage of water,
as it turns like a lonely spindle
in the moonlight, as it says
yes.