instructions for a summery day: kick off your shoes, wiggle your toes; tiptoe through dewy grass in the quiet hours when all the birds are deep in morning song; find an old wicker chair; plant your bum.
more instructions: have fat mug nearby filled with whatever fuels you; look out upon this blessed sun-drenched day. whisper thank you, thank you, thank you. keep whispering.
before you wander off into this holy day, a sermon in verse from that high priestess of poetry, mary oliver.
Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith
I listen and look
under the sun’s brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can’t hear
anything, I can’t see anything —
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,
nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker —
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.
And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing —
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,
the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet —
all of it
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.
And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt
swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body
is sure to be there.
~ Mary Oliver ~
amen. now, go in peace….*
*there is a breathtakingly beautiful dismissal i’ve heard at the end of mass, but i cannot for the life of me find it here this morning, so when i do i will tiptoe back and leave it here…..my dear friend connie, who was sitting beside me the morning i heard it, and immediately unzipped my backpack to reach for a pen to scribble it down so i’d never forget it, she’ll help me find it. i know she will. because she finds answers for everything.
and here it is (thank you beloved connie and Kat!!!):
Life is short. We don’t have much time to gladden the hearts of those who walk this way with us. So, be swift to love and make haste to be kind.
what will you do to make this fine summer’s day the magnificent gift that it is?
p.s. there are a thousand summer birthdays to celebrate in june, and one someone i love — a blessed friend of this old chair — is birthdaying on the 28th. happy blessed day my beautiful hilarious and ever wise friend. xoxoxox
p.s.s. here’s a little before and after picture show: my book-bestrewn office got a little makeover yesterday, when our beloved james the dream-builder showed up with a bespoke bookcase that houses not only the antique clock we inherited from fair haven, new jersey, but also all my poetry books and all my religion books, thus freeing the floor of its book-holding duties. here’s a little before, after, and a pic of james’ glorious solution.
thank you, james!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we love you to pieces. xoxox