August by Mary Oliver: Reading and Meditation

August 31, 2020  • Executive Leadership Seminars Department

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August, Mary Oliver


These end-of-summer days sparkle with memories of childhood, when summer meant tree-climbing and knee-scraping, fresh berries and freedom. On days full of adult responsibilities, I like to remember the existence of those times on a late August day like today. Mary Oliver calls us to revisit those days, regardless of our current state. “All day my body accepts what it is./In the dark creeks that run by there is this thick paw of my life darting among the black bells.” Oliver wrote “August” at 58 years old – an age at which most of us have long lost the desire to climb a tree in search of a childhood treasure: berries. 

What innocent activities have you long forgotten about? What joys did they bring you? How can you integrate childish whimsy into your life again? 

Brianna Curran, Washington, DC

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