2020 was a year that I really explored books out of my comfort zone. Stumbling upon some poetry from Mary Oliver, I decided to pick up her essay collection, Upstream.

The essay collection is incredibly soothing look at the quiet parts of life related back to nature in a spiritual way that creates a sense to hope and a desire to be calm. I read this essay collection in an attempt to break a reading slump after going back to my day job, and it was just what I needed. I don’t normally read essay collections as I find – much like with short story collections – I find I get tired of reading a bunch of short things all in a row. However, as I struggled with my sense of self upon returning to a customer service job during a global pandemic, I really needed the reminders of the beauty and the peace that exists in the world.

I highly recommend this essay collection, and even Oliver’s poetry, for anyone who needs a moment to themselves to think.

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