Thursday, October 10, 2013

Killing Me Softly...


Every day
I see or I hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me 
like a needle

in the haystack 
of light.
It was 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?

~Mary Oliver

The other day I read this poem by Mary Oliver and I could hardly believe it. She managed somehow to describe the joyful feelings I have when I am outside and part of nature; the emotions I feel when I walk and listen, when I stop and peer; how my heart pounds with excitement over some new discovery or aches with tenderness for the fragility and everyday beauty of our world. Somehow she looked inside me and saw my innermost thoughts and feelings. It's almost as if she understood how happy I feel to be alive and a part of this wonderful world. Or maybe everyone feels like this. I sure hope so.

These are just a few of the things I saw on recent walks along La Chua Trail in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. While I was walking, I left behind the problems and politics of the world and tuned my mind instead to the colors, sounds and rhythm of the land. Everywhere I turned, there was another marvel. The buzzing of dragonflies and bees, smells of swampy muck and ducking under low flying herons were all exhilarating! I was completely alive. Soon I was bathed in feelings of well-being as the endorphins kicked in, lost "inside this soft world." This is what really matters.

Gulf Fritillary on Dotted Horsemint (Monarda punctata)

Little Blue Heron

Green Anole Peeking Out of the Boardwalk

Prairie Warbler in the Bushes

Red Shouldered Hawk Spreads Its Feathers

Eastern Phoebe on the Rail

Gator Bellowing

Belted Kingfisher Perching

Lucky Snowy Egret with Amphiuma for Breakfast

Paper Wasps and Their Nest

Common Yellowthroat


Wild Spanish Stallion Grazing

Striped Mud Turtle in the Road


  1. Thank you for introducing me to that poem. Those are some amazing photographs!

  2. Thank you! When I read those first 6 lines it took my breath away. I love it, too. Thanks for reading.