Mary Oliver Is A Wise Woman

After pouring over words from Mary Oliver —  any of her words, take your pick on any page of any of her books — there is really nothing else to say.  You just close the book and sit in silence.

So I’ll mention where this Mary Oliver quote comes from and then turn the rest over to her.  The rest, the important part, is from “Long Life” by Mary Oliver.  Page 33.  (You can find her on


“Once, years ago I emerged from the woods in the early morning at the end of a walk and — it was the most casual of moments — as I stepped from under the trees into the mild, pouring-down sunlight I experienced a sudden impact, a seizure of happiness.  It was not the drowning sort of happiness, rather the floating sort.  I made no struggle toward it; it was given.  Time seemed to vanish.  Urgency vanished.  Any important difference between myself and all other things vanished.  I knew that I belonged to the world, and felt comfortably my own containment in the totality.  I did not feel that I understood any mystery, not at all; rather that I could be happy and feel blessed within the perplexity — the summer morning, its gentleness, the sense of the great work being done though the grass where I stood scarcely trembled.  As I say, it was the most casual of moments, not mystical as the word is usually meant, for there was no vision, or anything extraordinary at all, but only a sudden awareness of the citizenry of all things within one world:  leaves, dust, thrushes and finches, men and women.  An yet it was a moment I have never forgotten, and upon which I have based many decisions in the years since.”

In Care of Relationships, Long Life, Mary Oliver, poetry, relationships, Terri Crosby

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