Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mary Oliver's poetry: Mindful

I recently discovered Mary Oliver's poetry, thanks to Parker Palmer (one of my heroes). Palmer says about this poem:

 It takes no special talent to look around our world and point out things that are numbing, depressing, or death-dealing. But becoming keenly and consistently aware of what's good, true, and beautiful demands a discipline: we must open our eyes, minds and hearts, and keep them open.

This poem grabbed me today, because I feel I am, indeed, looking around, being mindful of all the ordinary things that delight me about home: the stained glass angel in the front door, Finn and Harris standing on the back of the chair in the front room to greet me home, the closeness of  snowy mountains in the sun as I drove out to Hato Paora yesterday (and the fact that the mountains had completely disappeared when I left at twilight), the love of my extended family, every day rituals, my students laughing in class, the particular brightness of Aotearoa New Zealand. I live in a beautiful place - and have lived in a beautiful place all my life, because the hills and dales of Derbyshire have their own beauty. It's good to think about this, to be attentive to it, as I head out to another beautiful place.

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