I was browsing in the local used-book store the other day when I came upon one of Mary Oliver’s more recent collections of poetry, Felicity. I’ll leave, for now, the idea that someone would relegate a collection of this caliber to a used book store, and focus rather on a passage from the work that came to my mind this morning as I walked through my back yard.
From Oliver’s “Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way”:
For how many years did I wander slowly
through the forest. What wonder and
glory I would have missed had I ever been
in a hurry!
I’ve written recently about the dozen or so steps from the chicken coop to my back door, a brief trek I’ve taken hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
Today, though, I walked the distance one slow, deliberate step at a time. I noticed the recent growth of the grasses, the springtime resurgence of a variety of blossoms, and the gnawing of an acorn that was carried out by some nocturnal visitor, undoubtedly one of the squirrels that daily torment my dog.
This morning, I didn’t need to view a grand vista or an expansive horizon to see the beauty and grandeur of the Creation, visible in only a few square yards of cool, damp earth at my feet.
To the Creator, and to the poet, I give my thanks.
8 thoughts on “Slow Down”
Thank you for your post. Slowing down has been on my mind and heart a lot lately. I was drawn immediately to your title. I loved your line, “I walked the distance one slow, deliberate step at a time.” I am vowing to do this the next time I take out the compost pail. Thank you for this imperative reminder.
I’m betting that a trip to the compost pile will be great–there’s always new life around them! Thanks for reading.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Your detailed description – encourages us to ‘slow down’ and enjoy our world. I also thank the poet for the words: “What wonder and glory I would have missed had I ever been in a hurry.”
Mary Oliver’s work is some of my favorite poetry. I’ve got at least one more slice to write this month based on some of her poems. Thanks for reading!
I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never read her poetry. However, this past week, I came across her collections in my local library and checked some out. It’s next on my list to read. And thanks to your slice, I’m excited to delve into her work.
Her poetry reminds me of Ted Kooser’s or even Billy Collins’ (without the wit) work. I hope you like it!
There is something like Thoreau or Dillard or Frost in your posts, but the voice is distinctively yours. And yet, like these writers I mentioned, you seem to be able to articulate thoughts that have been napping in the back of my mind. Thank you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for your kind words!