Can You Imagine?
For example, what the trees do
not only in lightening storms
or the watery dark of a summer’s night
or under the white nets of winter
but now, and now, and now – whenever
we’re not looking. Surely you can’t imagine
they don’t dance, from the root up, wishing
to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting
a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly
more shade – surely you can’t imagine they just
stand there loving every
minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings
of the years slowly and without a sound
thickening, and nothing different unless the wind,
and then only in its own mood, comes
to visit, surely you can’t imagine
patience, and happiness, like that.
~ Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice ~
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do ~
determined to save
the only life you could save.
~ Mary Oliver
“It seemed as if the valley were not always girded by woods, growing on the surrounding hills and facing away from the horizon, but the trees had only taken up their places now, rising out of the ground to offer their condolences. He almost waved away the tangible beauty of the hour like a crowd of persistent friends, almost said to the lingering afterglow, ‘thank you, thank you, I’ll be all right.’ ” ~ Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago
Fall, leaves, fall
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.
~ Emily Bronte
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Ann of Green Gables
“Then in October, Indian Summer, the air turned so soft, the sunlight so fragile, and each day’s loveliness so poignantly doomed that even self-ignorance and restlessness felt like profound states of being, and he just wandered the empty beaches and misty headlands in a state of serene confusion and awe.” ~ David James Duncan (from The Brothers K)
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ~ Henry David Thoreau