“In Blackwater Woods,” brought back a childhood memory that I had forgotten about. It was when I was eight years old and I caught these two little lizards. I had put them in a jar with sticks, leaves, and I even poked little holes in the lid so they could breathe. I loved both of them so much, that, I even gave each lizard a name.
The lizards were not happy in the jar. I couldn’t get them to eat or even move. My mom came and said to me, “Isaac, if you really love those lizards you will let them go.” And I was angry with her for telling me that, I couldn’t just let them free. I knew that they weren’t happy, and I couldn’t bear to watch them suffer anymore. So, I released them in the forest and they ran off happily up a tree. It felt good seeing them happy, and I learned something that day.
The lesson I learned is in Mary Oliver’s poem, “In Blackwater Woods.” She writes about this beautiful forest of trees that smell of cinnamon, and beautiful ponds. This forest symbolizes happiness. Mary Oliver also writes about a black river with fire. This symbolizes loss, and sadness. She also writes something important, “To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.” This is the lesson I learned that day I let my lizards free. If you really love something or someone and the time comes to let it go, you will let it go, or you will live in the “black river”, and never cross it to reach the “beautiful forest.”
The moral of the poem, “In Blackwater Woods,” is a universal one, it’s also one of the easiest to understand. Ironically, it’s one of the most difficult to do. Letting something you love go is a challenge, but in the end you will most surely reach the “beautiful forest.”...