West of the Pass
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean —
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
~ Mary Oliver
Idle and blessed I am, having decamped to A Far Place.
Absent internet connections, football, Black Friday, and reliable phone service, there’s nothing left but to roam the countryside and search out curiosities, grateful for that silence which is no silence at all, but the murmuring and trilling of a hospitable land.
In this world, gratitude is neither a day nor a dinner. The river burbles its gratitude over the rocks. The trees wave their arms, rejoicing. Where eyes meet eyes, they bespeak gratitude as surely as our words. “Fine day,” says one. “Pleased to have met you,” says another. “Happy Thanksgiving,” say all.
And so say I. Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. I hope your days are filled with blessings, and with gratitude. While there’s always a chance I’ll find a signal down by the cemetery gate that allows responding to posts or comments, there’s an equal chance I’ll find only a red tail, gliding the edge of the falling dark. In that case, I’ll watch the hawk, and see you when I get back.