Our hearts are with those impacted by Hurricane Idalia.
We hope this dose of Everglades zen brings comfort to those seeking refuge in the beauty of nature.
The poetry of nature is a balm for stormy times
Did you know Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a poet? During her stint as a columnist at the Miami Herald in the early 1920s, she wrote poetry that topped her columns in the newspaper. This marked the beginning of her explorations of Florida’s landscape and geography.
Her poetic musings about the Greater Everglades became a foundation for her better-known nonfiction writing and environmental advocacy through Friends of the Everglades.
For this month’s moment of Everglades zen, our Multimedia Producer Leah Voss explored the mile-long Hawk’s Bluff Trail at Savannas Preserve State Park in Jensen Beach that winds hikers through five different habitats. With Marjory’s poetry as inspiration, Leah captured a beautiful sunset sinking behind the pines that border the marsh, protecting the ancient wetlands from surrounding development. It reminded her of Marjory’s poem from 100 years ago:
Sunsets Through the Cutler Pines
Late in the day when the sun is low
And the wind is fresh from the distant sea,
Down through the pines it is good to go,
And be one with all earth ways silently.
Fingers of sun slant in tawny gold;
Creeping and feeling the shadows crawl,
The wind is sweet with the pine sweet mold,
And the turquoise of the sky is over all.
Still as a tree and still as the sky,
Stand and hold open your heart like a cup,
And the balm of the earth with brim with a sigh,
And the savor of the sea will lift you up.
Stand and renew all the peace in your heart,
Stand and feel through you the Stillness grow.
Earth sweet and savor’s the wisest path,
And the way of the tree is the way to go.
-Marjory Stoneman Douglas, The Wide Brim
The Wide Brim is a collection of Marjory’s articles and poetry from her daily Miami Herald column edited by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jack E. Davis, the featured speaker at Friends of the Everglades’ second annual Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Luncheon in 2022.
The Florida of the 1920s described by Marjory in her musings is quite different from the Florida of the 2020s — but pockets of unspoiled wilderness remain. Our mission to restore what’s left of the Everglades and its surrounding ecosystems is fueled by your support. We invite you to contribute to Friends of the Everglades to help us continue the spark Marjory started more than 100 years ago.