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.