The Summer Day

In my last post I mentioned I would be staying with the poems of Mary Oliver for a few days. Her poem The Summer Day ends with the often quoted last two lines. Yet don’t be in any hurry to arrive there, enjoy her every word. The poem begins with the questions we have all asked as children and continue to ask as adults. With age the questions don’t get easier and the answers are as ever hard to find. Perhaps the joy and the truth is in the asking. Enjoy.

The Summer Day
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 down 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?

Prayer:
Lord God,
I have a whole list of questions.
Perhaps though I should just let them be
for soon I will be adding more, for sure.
So for now
in this simple moment
I will attempt to enjoy
the mystery and the wonder
in the most ordinary things.
As for Who made the world?
that can wait for another day.
For now, I am thankful for curiosity. Amen.

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