Be Idle and Blessed

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Who made the world?

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
~Mary Oliver from “The Summer Day”

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Daisy Dawn

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…perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.
It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun;
and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon.
It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike;
it may be that God makes every daisy separately,
but has never got tired of making them.
~G.K. Chesterton

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There is a flower, a little flower
With silver crest and golden eye,
That welcomes every changing hour,
And weathers every sky.
~James Montgomery

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Over the shoulders and slopes of the dune
I saw the white daisies go down to the sea,
A host in the sunshine, an army in June,
The people God sends us to set our heart free.
~William Bliss Carman

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See, the grass is full of stars,
Fallen in their brightness;
Hearts they have of shining gold,
Rays of shining whiteness.
~Marjorie Pickthall from “Daisy Time”
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Opened Arms

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Just as we lose hope
she ambles in,
a late guest
dragging her hem
of wildflowers,
her torn
veil of mist,
of light rain,
blowing
her dandelion
breath
in our ears;
and we forgive her,
turning from
chilly winter
ways,
we throw off
our faithful
sweaters
and open
our arms.
~Linda Pastan “Spring”

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The Gift of a Fencerow

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Brushy fencerows are in a sense a gift from man to nature — at least if, after the posts are dug in and the fence stapled to the posts, nature is given some free reign. Birds sitting on the fence and posts will pass undigested seeds in their droppings. Some of these seeds of blackberry, wild cherry, elderberry, bittersweet, sassafras, mulberry, and unfortunately, in some areas, multiflora rose, will take root in the loose soil around the posts and later in soil dug up by woodchucks. Chipmunks scurrying along the fence will bring and bury acorns and hickory nuts, while the wind will deliver dandelion, milkweed, and thistle seeds — all ingredients for a healthy fencerow.
~David Kline from Great Possessions

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Summer’s Wild Inventions

photo by Nate Gibson

One day in summer
when everything
has already been more than enough
the wild beds start
exploding open along the berm
of the sea; day after day
you sit near them; day after day
the honey keeps on coming
in the red cups and the bees
like amber drops roll
in the petals: there is no end,
believe me! to the inventions of summer,
to the happiness your body
is willing to bear.

– Mary Oliver “The Roses”

photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson

The Way We Long To Be

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“I had a dog
who loved flowers.
Briskly she went
through the fields,
…and easily
she adored
every blossom

not in the serious
careful way
that we choose
this blossom or that blossom

the way we praise or don’t praise –
the way we love
or don’t love –
but the way

we long to be –
that happy
in the heaven of earth –
that wild, that loving.”
—Mary Oliver

Why do we not feel the joie de vivre, the ebullience and fullness of every moment?  What makes us hide ourselves rather than join the walk in the garden in the cool of the day? What makes us choose this blossom or that, this tree or that, this fruit or that, judging good, better and best?  What has happened to wild loving appreciation of the heaven of earth?

We gave it up for one taste.  Lost heaven and regretted it immediately.

Now joie de vivre awaits, beyond this, above this.  Invited, all expenses paid, unearned, back to the way we long to be.

It’s loving that wild.

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