My favorite proffesor, Dera Weaver, told me in a conference last week that she always thinks of this Mary Oliver poem when she interacts with me. What a word of encouragment!
“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?”
One of my most cherished memories is when Jenny, Kristen, Dad and I went to a poetry reading of Mary Oliver in center Phidelphia in 2009.
We didn’t even know who she was but I was required to go to three live readings that semester for my Creative Writing Class. We all had the best time. How random and fun. I miss the NorthEast sometimes, especially during Thanksgiving. My family use to travel up to NYC and to center Philly this time of the year to eat at goood resteraunts and enjoy eachother’s presence.
We’d share so many courses and laugh and laugh until the establishment’s workers gave us death stares.
I’ll miss my immediate family this Thanksgiving as I really couldn’t afford to skip work and drive up to North Carolina this year.
New seasons roll in, but in the meantime this little poem anchors me to the past and to my days living in Bucks County, Pennslyvania with my family.
And the very idea that a poem from Mary Oliver reverberates in someone’s heads when they talk to me.. well that’s too cool. And that’s why I love surrounding myself with scholars of the written word.