Mindful

      by Mary Oliver

 

Every day

    I see or I hear

        something

            that more or less

 

kills me

    with delight,

        that leaves me

            like a needle

 

in the haystack

    of light.

        It is what I was born for—

            to look, to listen,

 

to lose myself

    inside this soft world—

        to instruct myself

            over and over

 

in joy,

    and acclamation.

        Nor am I talking

            about the exceptional,

 

the fearful, the dreadful,

    the very extravagant—

        but of the ordinary,

            the common, the very drab,

 

the daily presentations.

    Oh, good scholar,

        I say to myself,

            how can you help

 

but grow wise

    with such teachings

        as these—

            the untrimmable light

 

of the world,

    the ocean’s shine,

        the prayers that are made

            out of grass?

 

 

From Why I Wake Early, Boston: Beacon Press, 2004, pages 58–59.