Mary Oliver died January 17th 2019. She survived her past and made much of her “one and precious life”. Hers is the poetry of mindfulness and love. Here she writes of Mornings at Blackwater.
For years, every morning, I drank
from Blackwater Pond.
it was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt,
the feet of ducks.
And always it assuaged me
from the dry bowl of the very far past.
What I want to say is
that the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what will be,
So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,
and put your lips to the world.
photo taken at Stavanger
A poor life this, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
These are the closing lines of W H Davies’s so simple poem, Leisure.
I bet I’m not the only one to be brought up sharp by this. Could this be a Lenten discipline: to take time?
Mary Oliver’s simple lines in Praying might help us to take time in the everyday – just to wonder and wander in prayer. Prayer doesn’t have to be difficult.
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
Photo credit: Vilseskogen