Quiet as a Feather







Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.
~Mary Oliver “Today” from A Thousand Mornings








Some days warrant stillness.

This week echoed loud with ruckus and noise — much too overwhelming and nearly deafening.
Today we should seek to be quiet as a feather, silently in place, not saying a word.

We might actually begin to listen again.   We might hear each other again.

A funny thing about feathers: alone, each one is mere fluff.
Together — feathers create lift and power, the strength and will to soar beyond the tether of gravity and the pull of our flawed mortality.

Joined and united, we can rise above and fly as far as our life and breath can take us.

May peace be still.








thank you to the poultry of the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden for holding still long enough to capture their brilliant plumage.


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6 thoughts on “Quiet as a Feather

  1. Thank you, Emily, and blessings to you. This truly did provide a breath of needed stillness after all the chaos in our broken world! The earth is still full of the glory of God if we sit still long enough to notice it–like looking at the artistry of a bird’s feathers! More glory everywhere we look, if we open our eyes and hearts to see and appreciate!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emily … I believe I can at least partially fathom the time and effort you expend (daily-by-day-by-resistless day) in getting these beautiful pages ready for us. We’ve never met. You don’t know me. But in an age where so few stop to notice, stop to consider that such artistry is not produced by a machine, some ‘Siri’ of the microchips, ‘thanks’ is short in coming. Almost daily I take in these splendid gifts, relish in the photography and marvel in the poetry. This paragraph of thanks will not do–and will certainly not exonerate me in my responsibility of gratitude, but I thought it would be good for you to hear some “thanks” anyway.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Always gratifying to see Mary Oliver’s thoughts in print. I have many of her poetry collections. She has such a simple, deceptively profound, insight into the human soul.
    “Stillness. One of the doors into the temple.” Yes – that is the place where He seems to speak to us so often. But we do need stillness, silence, surrender to hear what He
    is saying to us.
    Emily, as usual, your thoughts remind us of the ‘nitty gritty’ of how and why we need to embrace stillness (and solitude). Your choice of feathers is perfect – especially your statement about the value – the need – for us to be joined and united – [and faithful to His Word ?]. That can be such a powerful antidote to the constant, insidious, battle between anti-God spiritual forces and the struggle within our souls to filter out those voices that urge us to abandon Him and do their bidding.

    Thank you, dear Emily. May you always feel the peace and healing serenity that only His Spirit can bring to our souls (as your words so often bring to mine).


  4. Thank you for this poem by Mary Oliver. I am her fan, but I had missed this. What a beautiful job you do of pairing beautiful photos with poetry.


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