I can’t stop thinking about my walk yesterday. It was the kind of day that makes you want to write about it with such perfection that everyone reading will instantly know just how you felt. I rarely posses that sort of talent… but Mary Oliver does. She is a true master. Her poetry never fails to speak what my heart is saying.
Such Singing in the Wild Branches
It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves –
then I saw him clutching the limb
in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still
and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness –
and that’s when it happened,
when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree –
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,
and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing –
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed
not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky – all, all of them
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last
for more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then – open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.
For those that are curious, the birds pictured from left to right are:
A displaying male Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater).
A pair of Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) — they had literally just finished mating!
A singing Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata).
Bliss. Peace. Beauty. Joy. Everything I want to have in my life! I hope that Spring is bringing all of these things to you too. We all deserve at least a little bit of this every day.