New Mornings


This morning, during the third morning of my “new life” as a self-employed writer, I started to think about all the mornings of my life I’ve spent in a blur. We all do it. We get into routines: Get angry at the alarm, feed the cat, wash our faces, brush our teeth, rush out the door, sit in traffic, go to work. By the time we arrive wherever it is we’re going, we don’t even know how we’ve gotten there. But maybe, if we start to pay a bit more attention, we can realize that each day is a chance for a fresh start. I’m definitely no poetry connoisseur, but lately I’ve been reading through Mary Oliver’s New And Selected Poems, Volume One which was gifted to me after my high school graduation. It’s inscribed with a caring note from an aunt, dated July 2006–exactly seven years ago. At the time, I looked at the book, thought “what is this hippy nonsense?” and stashed it away on a bookshelf. But now that I’m trying to live a more thoughtful life, the words have started to resonate. This poem is beautiful for reminding us that whether or not we choose to be happy, or choose to pay attention, the world is going to keep spinning. So why not enjoy it?

Morning Poem

By Mary Oliver

Every morning
the world
is created.

Under the orange
sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches–
and the pond appears
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead–
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging–

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted–

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

BlogKristen Domonell