What did you notice?

The dew-snail

The low flying sparrow

The bat, on the wind, in the dark

Big chested geese, in the V of sleekest performance

The soft toad, patient in the hot sand

The sweet-hungry ants

The uproar of mice in the empty house

The tin music of the cricket’s body

The blouse of the goldenrod.

What did you hear?

The thrush greeting the morning

The little bluebirds in their hot box

The salty talk of the wren

Then the deep cup of the hour of silence.

When did you admire?

The oaks, letting down their dark and hairy fruit

The carrot, rising in its elongated waist

The onion, sheet after sheet, curved inward to the pale green wand

At the end of summer the brassy dust, the almost liquid beauty of the flowers

Then the ferns scrawled black by the frost.

What astonished you?

The swallows making their dip and turn over the water.

What would you like to see again?

My dog, her energy and exuberance, her willingness, her language beyond all nimbleness of tongue

Her recklessness, her loyalty, her sweetness, her strong legs, her curled black lip, her snap.

What was most tender?

Queen Anne’s lace, with its parsnip root

The everlasting in its bonnets of wool

The kinks and turns of the tupelo’s body

The tall blank banks of sand

The clam, clamped down.

What was most wonderful?

The sea and its wide shoulders

The sea and its triangles

The sea lying back units long athlete’s spine.

What did you think was happening?

The green beast of the hummingbird

The eye of the pond

The wet face of the lily

The bright, puckered knee of the broken oak

The red tulip of the fox’s mouth

The up-swing, the down-pour, the frayed sleeve of the first snow -

So the gods shake us from our sleep.

- Mary Oliver - RIP

(I am so grateful for you)