River talk

Gypsies and giants

By SANDY LONG
Posted 8/4/21

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” That quote, attributed to the Sufi poet Jelaluddin Rumi, came to mind when I learned that my editor at the River Reporter, Veronica Daub, …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
River talk

Gypsies and giants

Posted

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” That quote, attributed to the Sufi poet Jelaluddin Rumi, came to mind when I learned that my editor at the River Reporter, Veronica Daub, is moving away from the Upper Delaware River region, where her presence has illuminated and enriched us. Her gifts are many, ranging from the written word to making music and more. Others along her journey will be drawn to her light.

Moths, too, are drawn to light, sometimes at their own peril if that light is flame. Right now, moths and butterflies are out in great numbers throughout the region, bringing their diaphanous beauty to our lives.

While it’s not necessary to know the name of something in order to appreciate it, learning about individual species can be illuminating. Identify a moth or butterfly by visiting www.butterfly-conservation.org/moths/identify-a-moth or www.insectidentification.org/butterflies-and-moths.php or by consulting a field guide, such as the Smithsonian Handbooks “Guide to Butterflies and Moths.”

Or like the poet, Mary Oliver writes, in this excerpt from “The Moths,” simply paying attention to something will lead you to notice ever more of the world we adventure in:

“There’s a kind of white moth,

I don’t know

what kind, that glimmers

by mid-May

in the forest, just

as the pink moccasin flowers

are rising.

If you notice anything,

it leads you to notice

more

and more.”

For all of you poets out there, entries are being accepted until Friday, December 31 for the Moth Poetry Prize, one of the largest prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem. Learn more at www.bit.ly/3laiIX5.

As for gifted young editors with loads of potential, I’m grateful to have experienced Veronica’s intelligence, creativity, appreciativeness and compassion. She will undoubtedly inspire others to be their most authentic selves. “Set your life on fire,” advised Rumi. “Seek those who fan your flames.” Good advice for the journey.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here