Sometimes I feel like Kate Nash: 'sometimes when I'm at a busy train station somewhere big with noisy trains like Kings Cross I feel like putting down my bags and shouting out because I have something to say'

But most of the time my feelings just don't fit into words.

Lately I've been remembering how to be alone. It's hard to find solitude here, even living away from campus, and more difficult to settle into solitude when it comes.

But this past weekend, away from everyone, alone, finally, I found...what I had been missing. Not peace, or joy, or happiness exactly, but itself: a sense of deepness, right and good. It was that moment entirely free from the pressure to be anything but myself, to stop performing, do nothing but exist in my skin.

I found myself, wrapped myself in myself like a blanket. Borrowing from dear Annie: 'I slid into myself perfectly fitted, as a diver meets her reflection in a pool. Her fingertips enter the fingertips on the water, her wrists slide up her arms. The diver wraps herself in her reflection wholly, sealing it at the toes, and wears it as she climbs rising from the pool, and ever after."

I found the butterflies, a park with a creek too, wildflowers and clover. Time suspended, light suspended. All I could think of was how I could never work an 8-5 job in a cubicle because I would miss the sunlight too much, and Gus following the salmon down the river. Maybe I will live my life as a lobsterman's wife. Or a fisherman, or bee-keeper, or lighthouse-keeper's wife, any of those would work for me.

The Men's Chorale is singing Innisfree this semester, and every Monday and Wednesday around 3:45, I get chills. They don't sing it perfectly yet, but the words, the harmonies, their enthusiasm, the fact that Yeats wrote it while homesick for Ireland...it moves me, stirs a longing within me to go back to that place where the light is white and still, the green hills broken up by crumbling walls of stone, the sound of raindrops greets you every morning.

And maybe all I want is to sit by a lake for hours, watch the sun trail across the sky, drinking tea and eating bread and cheese, letting the water lick at my toes, knowing the right names for things: birds and fish, trees, all the sky's shades of blue.

But maybe that's not it at all. Maybe that's not what I want at all.

When I Am Among the Trees
Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."