In Our Woods, Sometimes A Rare Music | Mary Oliver
Here’s another lovely poem by Mary Oliver. It caught my eye and my spirit this morning. My comments follow.
I hear the thrush singing
in the glowing woods
he is only passing through.
His voice is deep,
then he lifts it until it seems
to fall from the sky.
I am thrilled.
I am grateful.
Then, by the end of morning,
he’s gone, nothing but silence
out of the tree
where he rested for a night.
And this I find acceptable.
Not enough is a poor life.
But too much is, well, too much.
Imagine Verdi or Mahler
every day, all day.
It would exhaust anyone.
From A Thousand Mornings, Poems by Mary Oliver
Published by Penguin Books 2013
© 2012 by NW Orchard LLC
This morning I woke up to a songbird greeting the day. I also woke up to promises of rain and more frigid weather. Most importantly, I woke up. Alive and grateful for sleep, on the other side of last week’s highlight—getting a new pacemaker–Lucy II!
Mary Oliver’s poem reminds me that I don’t need an entire day of bird song, or even sunshine. Just being alive and able to hear one songbird is quite wonderful.
Last week I had Lucy (my pacemaker) upgraded to Lucy II. The hospital experience was distinctly less than I remembered. Imagine waking at 5am and getting to the hospital by 6:30am. We made it! That meant I would be home just after lunchtime. Except I wasn’t. Thanks to scheduling issues, I lay there all prepped, stomach empty since midnight, waiting with everyone else for the anesthesiologist to arrive. As it turned out, the fault wasn’t hers.
On the bright side, I haven’t been in such a lively, entertaining place since Covid lockdowns began. The entire surgery team was just there across the way, talking, laughing, obviously enjoying themselves while they too waited for the magic moment.
It came about 3 hours later. I’m glad to say I was out of it in a jiffy, had a good long nap before I woke up, and have been dealing with post-op instructions for nearly a week. I’m weary, prone to sleep anytime of the day or night, grateful for D and for Smudge, and slowly regaining my bearings.
As Mary Oliver points out, I don’t need a concert. I just need a bird song in the morning, a place to lie down and sleep as needed, a cat who loves to sleep with me, and D who makes a wonderful home nurse.
Thanks for stopping by.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 28 February 2023
Photo of wood thrush; found at Wikipedia.