Messenger

Messenger
by Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers,
there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast;
there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old?
Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young,
and still not half-perfect?
Let me keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still
and learning to be astonished.

The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing,
since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude,
to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren,
to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all,
over and over,
how it is that we live forever.

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The Journey

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
 though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.

My friends…my wish for you is for the stars to burn through any sheet of clouds that may surround you,
so that you might recognize your own voice.

~ Theresa