In honor of National Poetry Month, I am starting a new series of posts titled Evenings with Emily. One evening last week, it was time for bed, but I couldn’t get my mind to settle down. So I picked up a slim volume of selected poems by Emily Dickinson (one of my favorite poets), read the first poem, and used it as a writing prompt. It was such a lovely distraction from ruminating on the next day’s “To Do List” (which was the rut that my mind had been stuck in) that I intend return to this practice at random intervals and share my reflections here.
This is my letter to the World
That never wrote to Me –
The simple News that Nature told –
With tender Majesty
Her Message is committed
To Hands I cannot see –
For love of Her – Sweet – countrymen –
Judge tenderly of Me
This poem has a wistful loneliness to it that reminds me of my junior high and high school years. Though I had more contact with the World than Emily did, I rarely felt included in it–certainly not a part of it. And lacking confidence–or true understanding, really–of who I was and what value I had to offer, there was a fear of others’ judgement. Nature was my retreat as well–long walks in the golden afternoon, meditation and prayers in the silver temple of moonlight. Nature is a companion that I miss here in the city, yet I am so grateful to have found a community of human friends who refresh and encourage my heart in ways that Nature can’t.