From the past to the present

Yesterday I shared that I spent several hours clearing out old papers from my home.
This morning I found a few additional folders that I missed in my sweep yesterday,
with more rogue sheets hidden in them.  Determined to not allow the paper issue to get so out of hand again (at least not this soon), I went through each of the files and sifted, sorted, shredded, and salvaged more slices of tree.

In one folder hid a few photocopied pages that a colleague had given me about six months ago.  At the time she handed me the envelope (back in the fall of last year), she said that she had read a few things that reminded her of me, and she thought I might enjoy reading them, too.  With that, she handed me the envelope, and then went on to a meeting.

At the time, I slid the envelope in my work bag, planning on reading the contents later that evening.  Then I guess I got busy, and put the envelope in my “To Read” pile… and then I’m sure more stuff got set on top of it… and before I knew it, the envelope was buried.
To be re-discovered at a later time.  Which, turns out, is today.

So.  This morning as I was eating breakfast I looked at the pages in the envelope; and was intrigued to find that they were poems.  As I read the first one, I felt very honored that my colleague thought of me when she came across a very beautiful, touching, delightful piece.

The poem is below.  I haven’t read the other poems yet; I was honestly too stunned to read them with the attention and calm they deserve.  And (perhaps selfishly), I want to savor each one.

It heartens me to learn that my colleague thinks so highly of me.  And it humbles me.
And all of this got my Sunday off to a very special start.


(And now, the poem.)

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

~Mary Oliver

About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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6 Responses to From the past to the present

  1. Touch2Touch says:

    My friend over in Ireland, Berna, “our correspondent in County Kildare”, loves Mary Oliver. I had never heard of her before.
    You start AND end the day in happiness, in kindness.
    Nice that your colleague thinks of you this way!


    • Stef says:

      The first time I heard of Mary Oliver was in one of my first yoga classes ( The instructor read the poem with the semi-well-known line “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” during savasana. The entire poem struck me deeply (as did the teacher); and I have been a Mary Oliver fan (and a fan of that teacher) ever since.


  2. carlaat says:

    Yay for Mary Oliver! Yay for a beautiful poem about the sun! So glad this poem touched you!

    (Sadly, my paper pile still awaits, but I did go see the egrets! And practice yoga . . . )


  3. Pauline says:

    Much the same way I felt when I read the comment you left to me on Judith’s blog yesterday 🙂 It is almost always a surprise to see one’s self through the eyes of others. And one who sees you in a Mary Oliver poem sees true!


    • Stef says:

      Aw, thank you so much Pauline! It continues to amaze, surprise, and genuinely delight me to learn how others see me. I appreciate the perspective others provide – I can’t always glean it myself. 🙂


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