Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds will
never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
by Mary Oliver
It was one of those weeks where I read through dozens of poems and none felt quite right for sharing today, or I liked it but there was controversy about the author, or the translator/interpreter, or I kind of went off it after pausing with it for a while. And then I stumbled upon one by Mary Oliver that was new to me and like so many times before with one of her poems, she names in all simplicity some poignant truth that leaves me loving the world more.
In this one, the awe for life and its marvelousness speaks true, and the deep importance of seeing with new eyes, with beginners mind. And that feels like true medicine on days of weariness from world news and to-do lists longer than my waking hours, or the jadedness that can creep into the cracks of daily life. The medicine of looking up into the brightness of early autumn, the face of the other, the wagging of a happy dog’s tail. Let’s not forget to laugh in astonishment, and bow our head…
PS There are many opportunities to practice seeing the world afresh with the Mindfulness Association, the in-depth mindfulness course being one of them, and the Wonder of the Everyday another popular one. And if you want to explore the comfort of a poem, there is a new Mindfulness and Mystical Poetry course about to start…
Photo by Robert Zunikoff