“Flowers, being a representation of nature’s beauty, gained a lot of attention from the poet. If the poem is thin, it is likely so not because the poet does not know enough words, but because he or she has not stood long enough among the flowers ~ has not seen them in any fresh, exciting, and vivid way.” ~ Mary Oliver
The red tulip signifies perfect and eternal love.
Good Sunday morning, dear friends. We have enjoyed temperatures in the 60’s this week, with heavenly blue skies. Of course, this found me checking our garden friends to see who was waking from their long nap. I found many daffodils making their journey through the soil and a few peonies lazily looking for the sun. Their showing was just enough to let me know that spring is truly on its way. Which, began my head spinning with all the beauty that will arrive in due time.
As many of you may know, I am a great fan of Mary Oliver’s writing. With the birds singing in my head about the beauty of the glorious season soon to arrive, I thought perhaps Mary Oliver’s words would touch your hearts in a much more profound way than mine. So, do pour yourself a perfect coffee or tea and linger a while in the company of a marvelous talent.
“. . .Stillness. One of the doors into the temple.” ~
“Why I Wake Early” ~ by, Mary Oliver
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety ~
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light ~
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
” Flowers are sweet. They have short, beatific lives. They offer much pleasure. There is nothing in the world that can be said against them. Sad, isn’t it, that all they can kiss is the air.” ~ Mary Oliver
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers
and they open ~
pools of lace,
white and pink ~
and all day the black ants climb over them,
boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away
to their dark, underground cities ~
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,
the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again ~
beauty the brave, the exemplary,
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
for just a little while out of your busy
and very important day for the goldfinches
that have gathered in a field of thistles
for a musical battle, to see who can sing
the highest note, or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth, or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks drink the air
as they strive melodiously
not for your sake and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning but for sheer delight and gratitude ~
believe us, they say, it is a serious thing
just to be alive on this fresh morning in the broken world.
I beg of you, do not walk by
without pausing to attend to this rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something. It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
“You must change your life.”
Dear friends, thank you so much for your visit.
Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day.
And. . .
A Valentine’s Day full of love.
14 thoughts on “‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Dreaming of Splendid Spring Days”
Sandra, you captured my heart today with your beautiful photos and those wonderful poems by Mary Oliver. What a lovely way to celebrate the soon coming season and Valentine’s Day.
Today I just put away the handful of Christmas motif’d coffee mugs, bowls and plates I still had in the cupboard. It suddenly felt time.
Wishing you a beautiful week ahead. xo
Oh, Brenda, you are so kind. Mary Oliver can certainly capture one’s heart. She has words for any feeling.
I finally put Christmas to bed this past week. Although, there remain a few twinkling lights about.
Wishing you and your hubby a beautiful Valentine’s Day and a wonderful week that follows.
Mary Oliver has a way with words. Lovely poems and beautiful images. Each photo has so much life!
Have a beautiful week. I’m excited spring is showing sweet signs of appearing.
Hello, Bonnie. Yes, Mary Oliver is like no other. Thank you for your comments about this post. Wishing you and yours a lovely Valentine’s Day and do enjoy these remaining quiet days while we wait for spring.
I enjoy Mary Olivers verses and quotes. I always loved to watch the goldfinch do their beautiful dance.
Hello, Penny. The goldfinches are such a special gift. They are so dear to hear and watch. They love the zinnia’s as they dry. What I really enjoy is to hear them chatter.Happy Valentine’s Day, Penny.
Good morning, Sandra. Mary Oliver’s words are always appreciated. Beautiful images that you have chosen to delight our eyes. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Michael♥️
Hello, dear Pam. Thank you for your lovely comments. I was so happy to read this morning that your Dad is doing well. Answered prayers.
Wishing you, Butch, and your lovely family a Happy Valentine’s Day and a wonderful week ahead.
Starting the day with Mary Oliver and with you is a perfect way to begin a new week! (Or is it ending the old?) She was such a gift to the world. I’m so glad your daffs are popping. We won’t see them for quite awhile, but knowing they are beginning to show is indeed a promise of spring.
I will probably be taking down my winter tree today or tomorrow. The rest of Christmas came down some time ago, though the snow folk are still up for a bit. But I am getting ready to welcome spring, whenever it lands. (Since I got stuck on the ice yesterday, it can’t be soon enough!)
Hello, Jeanie. Thank you so much for your sweet comments. Yes, Mary Oliver was a true gift. I do think this post may have been a bit premature as we woke this morning to snow.
I did finally put Christmas away for her long nap. However, there remain a couple of things around. I think my anxiousness for spring to arrive coincides with putting Christmas away. Anyway, I am now anxious to see blooms, but I will try to remain patient. Although, patience is not my virtue.
Getting stuck on the ice sounds dreadful. I know you will remember that when you see your first daffodil. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Rick.
You had me stepping outside to check on my peonies in my new-to-me landscape, Sandra! Nothing yet, but I am seeing other signs of new life which will be a surprise as spring unfolds. A lovely surprise, gifts all!
Happy Valentine’s Day to you & Mike!
Hello, Rita. I am surprised you did not see daffodils on their way up. We have 3 early-blooming peonies and they are the ones with their little tiny red tips looking up. You will have such wonderful sights and treats in your new home. I will be anxious to see what is in your garden and I know you are as well. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours !
Such beautiful pictures to go with your selection of favorite Mary Oliver words, Sandra! I never owned a book of her poetry until last spring when my sister gave me her Dog Songs for my birthday, a delightful book. Your goldfinch selection made me smile with anticipation for that singing time of year. We have two goldfinch feeders, one off my kitchen porch and I love watching our eight clean the feeder out every few days. Well worth the high cost of their special feed.
I appreciate how you cause us to stop and think about the beauty all around us, Sandra. Have a blessed Sunday!
Dear Dewena, thank you so much for your kind words. I am not familiar with that particular book by Mary Oliver. I will keep watch for it. I do love goldfinches, especially to hear them chatter. They remind me of a group of silly middle school girls who have so much to talk about they are always interrupting each other. (I spent 28 years in middle schools).
Dewena, I thought about you the other day. I saw a photo of a little black Dachound and her name was Diva. She only will eat chicken for her breakfast. I believe she is named appropriately.
Wishing you a beautiful day and a most happy Valentine’s Day!
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