Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another Summer Begins

Summer begins again.
How many
do I still have?
Not a worthy question,

I imagine.
Hope is one thing,
gratitude another
and sufficient

unto itself.
the white blossoms of the shad
have opened
because it is their time

to open,
the mockingbird
is raving
in the thornbush.

How did it come to be
that I am no longer young
and the world
that keeps time

in its own way
has just been born?
I don't have the answers
and anyway I have become suspicious

of such questions,
and as for hope,
that tender advisement,
even that

I'm going to leave behind.
I'm just going to put on
my jacket, my boots,
I'm just going to go out

to sleep
all this night
in some unnamed, flowered corner
of the pasture.

If Thirst was about loss and seeking wholeness, then Evidence appears to be about aging.  It's not that Mary's poems or any collection of them can be said to be about any one thing, so perhaps it is me who is thinking about aging.  There is only one more Mary Oliver collection left to read after this one, Swan.  Mary is getting older, there may not be another book.  I see her walking, if not actually tottering, in her boots in field and on beach, and then collapsing, and then forever asleep in the night.

I too am getting older.  I wonder how many more field seasons I have where I am immersed in beauty among leaves and feathers.   When will my tottering under the weight of all the gear become too much for me?  There's no hope that I will be as I am for eternity.

Wait, I take that back.  I will always be wings and bark, born again ever anew with each hatching, sprouting, and rising.  And of course, my faint courage, dying again with each explosion of feathers from hawk's talons, with each crashing of tree from wind and rain, and with each setting.

There's no hope to that thought that I am not beautiful for all eternity.

What does aging mean to you?


1 comment:

  1. aging
    hey eh nah
    a way, away in
    A in or an in
    The way in to know
    And knowing

    Knowing where hope can be used and where it is already needed, kneaded into knowing the beauty is eternal for everything that is beautiful. In aging is a realization that the beauty is foreve in every moment
    And that is forever