I am going to try and respond each day to this moving poem by Mary Oliver as my daily practice for 2017.
Every Day I see and hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It is what I was born for – to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant- but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh good scholar, I day to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these- the untrimmable light of the world, the oceans shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?
Sitting in the flickering sunshine under the oleander tree here in Palm Desert, I hear the hummingbird buzzing mightily directly over my head – such a big sound from such a small bird. To believe that the year could start with the sight/sound of a hummingbird is not something I would ever have thought possible.
One of the things I most like to do while we are in Palm Desert is to hike and there is a trail that goes up to about 500 feet through the desert scrub to a lighted cross that overlooks the city. Because there has been so much drought here even the desert vegetation is suffering. But on my way up the trail today I see what looks like an extremely dead bush… Until I get very close and I see small red flowers beginning to emerge. Happy New Year. Happy new life for this bush.