AM I NOT AMONG THE EARLY RISERS
A Few Stanzas From A Poem By Mary Oliver
Here is an amazement—once I was twenty years old and in
every motion of my body there was delicious ease,
and in every motion of the green earth there was
a hint of paradise,
and now I am sixty years old, and it is the same.
Above the modest house and the palace—the same darkness.
Above the evil man and the just, the same stars.
Above the child who will recover and the child who will
not recover, the same energies roll forward,
from one tragedy to the next and from one foolishness to the next.
I bow down.
Have I not loves as though the beloved could vanish t any moment,
or become preoccupied, or whisper a name other than mine
in the stretched curvatures of lust, or over the dinner table?
Have I ever taken good fortune for granted?
QUESTION: WHAT HAS BEEN THE ARC OF MY LIFE OVER MANY DECADES?
Reflection: These few words in Mary Oliver’s poem grabbed me tightly, but without an immediate understanding. I’m not sure that I still understand, but I know they speak to something important beneath the surface of my consciousness. Although I turn 72 in June, I don’t sense the transition from youth to older age, especially physically. In many ways, much seems the same. I am certain that in many respects, I have taken good fortune for granted. However, the wisdom learning that has come to me in he last 10 years of life has clearly expanded my horizons beyond the illusions and attachments of false self even as the same darkness hovers overhead. But I sometimes remember to bow down in gratitude at the awareness of Presence, True Self, the Oneness and Mystery of all Creation, and our compassionate and merciful Father/Mother who holds me/us in loving kindness. I pray that such amazement will frequently visit.