by Mary Oliver
When we are driving in the dark,
on the long road to Provincetown,
when we are weary,
when the buildings and the scrub pines lose their familiar look,
I imagine us rising from the speeding car.
I imagine us seeing everything from another place–
the top of one of the pale dunes, or the deep and nameless
fields of the sea.
And what we see is a world that cannot cherish us,
but which we cherish.
And what we see is our life moving like that
along the dark edges of everything,
headlights sweeping the blackness,
believing in a thousand fragile and unprovable things.
Looking out for sorrow,
slowing down for happiness,
making all the right turns
right down to the thumping barriers to the sea,
the swirling waves,
the narrow streets, the houses,
the past, the future,
the doorway that belongs
to you and me.
I discovered this poem a few weeks ago. It then came to mind on my ride to visit my soon-to-be-husband’s family in upstate New York for the holidays. It was a slick Saturday drive of icy rain, and a car problem delayed our arrival by over five hours (oh how grateful I am for his car fixing skills). But we made it. We arrived together–safe and happy, even if a little trip-weary.
In just over a week–on New Year’s Eve–we will marry in my hometown in Ontario. We are ready to share new journeys—new streets, roads, and doorways.
We are excited and ready to . . . come home.