Lingering in Wonder
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.
That 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,
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 —
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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