Poem: What Inspires Me

We asked our social media interns to share with us what inspires them, and we’re sharing their responses with you. They inspire us!

What Inspires Me?

by Sara Swenson


What inspires me today

was too a childhood curiosity:

Nature’s wonders, great and small;

Its endless generosity.


Nature gave me the glitter

of softly fallen snow;

It gives me sweet aromas

as new spring blossoms grow.


It gave me skies of blue

and sweeping seas of green;

Then a whole palette of colors

for the fall finale scene.


I loved to watch the turtles

basking in the midday sun;

To stand and face a deer or fox,

or glimpse them as they’d run.


The sight of bold bald eagles

circling on the breeze;

The patterns and the cracks

preserved in ice as lakes freeze.


All these things that I loved

made me want to know more.

How did this all work? I asked;

What was all of this for?


This curiosity led me

to a collection of knowledge;

Like why those lights up north glow

like a great cosmic drawbridge.


I learned about soil,

about what makes things rot;

I learned about connections

between the living and not.


I learned about water,

and energy, and plants;

How it all exists together

in an elaborate dance.


But our own lives as humans

affect all of this too.

So I also learned consciousness—

understanding what I do.


What can I give this system?

And what things do I take?

What kind of impacts

Do my actions make?


The more I see of this world,

the more in wonder I am.


that others may see it tomorrow,

I try to understand.


Sara C Swenson is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management (concentrated in Environmental Education and Communication) and a minor in Spanish.  She has studied biology and conservation in the Galápagos Islands and the effects of tourism on coral reef ecosystems in Belize, is well-versed in Minnesota’s Environmental Review process, and has a longstanding interest in environmental policy and communication.


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