Mary Oliver begins her poem "The Summer Day" with
"Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean..."
Notice how her focus changes from broad to narrow? On our boating trip to Princess Louisa (see previous post), I was, at first, a little put out about the smoke that hampered our views of this magnificent place. I could have groused and grouched about it.
I gave myself a mental shake and decided to focus, as Oliver did, on the specifics. All of these photos were taken within view of the top photo, a wider view of Chatterbox Falls.
How delicate are the white blossoms, less than 1/2 inch long, that bloomed in the grass. I don't know their name, and they don't care about that.
The curving symmetry of an unfurling fan. I stared at it for some time, and now, when I study the photo, I remember crouching down on the soft moss at the edge of a clearing, listening to the silence.
Green fans and white stars in the woods. Oliver goes on, in her poem to say,
"I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed..."
I think that paying attention is a form of prayer, in which I acknowledge the Creator's attention to detail and His care in forming these hidden delights.
The colours were mostly shades of green and brown, but the occasional colourful flower popped like a staccato note in music.
Tangles of moss dripped from trees in this damp, lush setting.
Isn't this fungus amazing?
Oliver concludes her poem with these words,
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"
Her question is one I ask myself from time to time. Am I paying attention? - not only to nature, but to people and to myself. Life is short, but it's an amazing gift. Too short to waste.