Long Enough

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Mary Oliver ends Such Silence with:

I sat on the bench, waiting for something.

An angel, perhaps. Or dancers with the legs of goats.

No, I didn’t see either. but only, I think, because

I didn’t stay long enough.

Morning coffee in the garden. Mike and I are about to move inside and get our respective days up and running. We pause, and here comes the hummingbird, whom we had been hoping to see. Settling back into our chairs, a pair of songbirds light in the dogwood which wraps the gazebo’s west side. One of them explores the latticework along the screen, a mere 2 feet from us, the gazebo serving as a blind. Its throat trembles with a melody, and Mike says, ‘If you wait, they will come,’ a twist on a line from Field of Dreams:  ‘If you build it, he will come.’

And next, three goldfinches. Following their swooping and chirping path above the garden, the moon about to set comes to our attention. Glory be.

Stay long enough today. Practice the Alexander Technique Pause.

Growing Lovely

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‘Let me grow lovely, growing old–

so many fine things do.

Laces, and ivory, and gold,

And silks need not be new,

And there is healing in old trees,

Old streets a glamour hold;

Why may not I, as well as these,

Grow lovely, growing old?’

–Karle Wilson Baker

Other fine things that ‘grow lovely, growing old’:  paintings, with their cracked and faded patina, wrinkled hands with age spots, the scent of boxwoods along a worn stone walkway, creaky wooden stairs.

Age well today, dear reader. It’s a gift to be here.

*Baker (1878-1960), born in Arkansas, was educated at The University of Chicago, lived most of her life in Texas, where she wrote and taught for decades, receiving accolades as a poet and publishing multiple books with Yale University Press.

(That’s a sweet-gum seed pod in the pixabay photo. A favorite tree of Betty’s, my mother-in-law. Thank you, Betty, for giving my husband a turn on this earth.)