Lingering in Wonder

Posted by on January 25, 2013 in On Life | 6 comments


Two years ago Christmas, I casually mentioned how, before I leave this earth, I would like to have on my bookshelf every book written by Mary Oliver. I’ve always loved poetry. I wrote at it as a young person. It seemed the only way to reach what was stewing inside. But when I met Mary Oliver, through her work, I knew I’d found someone who had come as close to the infinite boundaries of mastery as I’d ever met.

deer tracksThat Christmas, my dear Adrienne and Bert conspired and gifted me with them all. I sit among them now, like a child amidst her toys, reading and savoring, reading a savoring, as Ms. Oliver sets a mood and opens a window through which I peer in wonder.

Today I read her description of three deer coming to drink at a pond. Then like a naughty child she owns:

I did not really see them,

I came later and saw their tracks

on the empty sand.

But I don’t believe only to the edge

of what my eyes actually see

in the kindness of the morning,

do you?

And then almost as if she wants to insure you’re on the same wavelength as she, she adds:

And my life,

Which is my body surely,

is also something more —

isn’t yours?


Well…do you or don’t you see? Are you or aren’t you more? What would it take for you to open to something utterly different? That there is a different way to experience life and perhaps that way is one that doesn’t create such havoc, that doesn’t produce such damage to our world, that doesn’t discourage our children from dreaming they too can have a good life. As a start, how willing are you to linger in that wonder? 

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  1. A good poet, and Mary Oliver certainly is, touches your soul quickly and remains there even after you have moved on. Words don’t disappear. You may forget them, but, when you need them again, they always come back.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more, Caleb. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. So beautiful, Christina!! You and Bert have introduced me to many wonders in the past year or so, and Mary Oliver is indeed one among them. I am so blessed to have you in my life!!

    • Coming from a great poet herself, that’s no idle praise. I am most grateful to you as well.

  3. When you call me dear, it’s like Christmas all over again. What a poem. I feel like I’ve been knocked over backwards in astonishment! I think I’ll sit here for a minute and linger in the wonder created for me by the most talented writer I know. Between you and Mary, I’m blown away.

    • May you linger on in wonder forever. My silent prayer for you.

Thoughtful comments are always welcome!


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