Choosing to Marvel at Mystery

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 5:30 am

Choosing to Marvel at Mystery

I woke up this morning to one of those days when life feels drab and dreary. Then I found this poem, and slowly began to see and marvel in some of the mysteries within me and around me.
I have a ways to go, but if I keep my eyes open, this day will end on a different note from the one on which it began.
To the world’s many mysteries celebrated in this simple but oh-so-insightful Mary Oliver poem, I want to add the poet herself. How does she do it, time after time after time?
Following her advice, I’ll keep my distance from those who think they have the answer and simply say, “Look!” or “Read!” Then I’ll laugh in astonishment, and bow my head…

“Mysteries, Yes”
by Mary Oliver

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

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Contributor

is a columnist for On Being. His column appears every Wednesday.

He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His books include Healing the Heart of Democracy, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.

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