This Thing Called Courage

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

I CAN THINK of no better way to honor earth day (other than volunteering to do some good green thing) than to go out for a long walk, and find a meadow, and bury your face in the new grass, and put your fingers on the earth, and feel the throb of spring. Me and Fionn just did that, and lucky us, we did it while the sun was still shining. So the next best thing I can think of to honor Earth Day is to post a poem by Mary Oliver. Happy Earth Day everyone.


By Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—equal seekers of sweetness.

Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect?

Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be

astonished. The phoebe, the delphinium.

The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.

Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart and these body-clothes,

a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth and the wren,

to the sleepy dug-up clam,

telling them all, over and over, how it is

that we live forever.


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