Anne Notations

Saturday, May 30, 2009

To be idle; to be blessed

Summer arrived today – not by the calendar, but in the warmth (at last) of the softened air, the triumphant appearance of the sun and puffy white clouds over the bay, the swollen buds of our roses and a striking black-maroon iris I must have planted last fall. The new pink peony will open tomorrow: I'd bet my life on it. (The poet Mary Oliver – see the last paragraph, below – has this to say about budding peonies: "This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready / to break my heart / as the sun rises, / as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers")

Felicia's clematis by the telephone pole between our driveways burst into deep magenta blossom. She says this is the most lush it's ever been.

During the week I oddly don't miss Michael. But when he arrived home last night at around 9 pm, I nearly velcroed myself to him. We watched an older episode of "Bones" with Melinda in the living room, and I was nearly in Michael's lap the whole time. It was thrilling to have his physical presence in the house. We've been together so many years, and yet I still get that tingle when I see his face after an absence.

Late this afternoon, after taking Daisy for a long walk, I sat in the breezy back yard and just was. I luxuriated in that soft breeze, in the smell of a shrub lilac in an adjacent yard and the blossoms on the honey locust tree next to our house. Daisy lay in the sunny grass, relaxing as only a dog can. "I should have brought my novel out here," I thought. (I'm reading an English epistolary cream puff called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.) Instead, I just soaked in the moment.

A few years ago I went through a phase of reading volumes of poetry by Mary Oliver. Here is one that suits my summer frame of mind.

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
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?


Post a Comment

<< Home