Tag Archives: mary oliver

Inspiration From Poet Mary Oliver

Hiking the Peralta Trail in Arizona with our friends Rudy and Sue

Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.

school class 1974-75

With my first class of students in 1974

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?


Our younger son reading poetry 

As a child, what captivated me was reading the poems myself and realizing that there was a world without material substance which was nevertheless as alive as any other.

In the Cloud Forest in Costa Rica

I have become a child of the clouds and of hope

My Mom showing my school students how to bake bread

Eat bread and understand comfort. 

sunrise over praia da luz

Praia da Luz beach in Portugal at sunrise from our kitchen window

Every morning the world is created. 

Ringing the peace bell in Hiroshima

I believe art is utterly important. It is one of the things that could save us.

Hiking in Akaka Falls State Park Hawaii

When I am among the trees,  ………..they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me

My Mom listens intently while her oldest grandchild reads the Christmas story from the Bible

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.

Swan photographed on Lake Constance in Germany

Across the wide waters something comes floating–a slim and delicate ship, filled with white flowers–and it moves
on its miraculous muscles

Other post……….


Thinking About Work For Labor Day

Inspiration in Sioux Lookout Ontario


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When They Look Back

You know how we look back now at how we treated aboriginal children by sending them to residental schools and think, “How could people of faith do that?”  

You know how we look back now at how African Americans were brought as slaves to North America and think, “How could people of faith do that?”

You know how we look back at the Holocaust and think, “How could people of faith let that happen?”

You know how we look at ourselves now and think about all the hungry and homeless in our world and think, “How are we people of faith allowing this to still happen?”

Sometimes I think future generations will look back and say, “How could people of faith not recognize the souls of all created things?”

Some Questions You Might Ask

by Mary Oliver

Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?
Who has it, and who doesn’t?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
One question leads to another.
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eye of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it, and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it, and not the camel?
Come to think of it, what about the maple trees?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
What about the grass?

Other posts……….


Trillums Food For the Soul

The Dawn Chorus

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Filed under Nature, Reflections

And That Led Me

This morning my brother who is traveling in Bulgaria sent me a photo of the spectacular view he encountered as he hiked above the tree line in the Pirin Mountains.  His only comment in the e-mail was……… What a wonderful world it is!

That led me to a poem by Mary Oliver…………

I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.

so why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime

wild flowersAnd that led me to remember my visit to the house in Rome where Keats died at age 25 and these lines from a Keats poem…….

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

And that led me to start this day, 9/11, with a prayer to look for and appreciate the joy, the beauty and the wonder that it may bring. 

Other posts……….

Beauty on the Beach

Beauty in Ordinary Things

The Beauty of Surgery

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