Walking the Easter Meadow

(Click to enlarge)
Faith
is the instructor.
We need no other.
Guess what I am,
he says in his
incomparably lovely
young-man voice.
Because I love the world,
I think of grass,
I think of leaves
and the bold sun,
I think of the rushes
in the black marshes
just coming back
from under the pure white
and now finally melting
stubs of snow.
Whatever we know or don’t know
leads us to say;
Teacher, what do you mean?
But faith is still there, and silent.
Then he who owns
the incomparable voice
suddenly flows upward
and out of the room
and I follow,
obedient and happy.
Of course I am thinking
the Lord was once young
and will never in fact be old.
And who else could this be, who goes off
down the green path
carrying his sandals, and singing?
                                               “Spring” ~  by Mary Oliver

As always, comments are welcome.

88 thoughts on “Walking the Easter Meadow

  1. Morning Linda:

    What a lovely poem, very appropriate for Easter. I can “feel” the words as I read them. Brain and heart intertwine, embrace and follow the Master. You can almost listen to the soft wind breathing through the grass.

    Thank you for this tender Easter poem.

    God Bless,

    Omar.-

    1. Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. This poem was new to me, and when I happened onto it, I thought it was charming. When I wandered into the meadow last weekend, I thought it was equally nice, and so I fit them together.

      I’m glad you like it. Best wishes for your Easter celebrations.

    1. You’re too kind, Jean. All I did was take the photo, and pair it with Mary Oliver’s poem. But as we both know, sometimes less is more. Whether we’re wishing each other happy Easter or happy Spring, nothing more needs to be said.

    1. What a fabulous resource, Jim. I’ve got their digital collections bookmarked, but never have done any exploring, and certainly never would have thought of postcards. I have a small collection of cards that were sent among family members: some are beautiful, some are sweet, and some are, shall we say, a bit more suggestive than I would have imagined.

      It took me forever to look through them, and I really enjoyed it. This is the card I chose. I like it for the pussy willows, which always were one of our first signs of spring, up there in Iowa, but I laughed at the teeter-totter. I know that trick: get your friend up in the air, and then jump off. Not that I ever would have done that, of course!

      1. I noticed that one you picked when I did my first browse of the cards. I also like the personal notes on some cards.

        When my youngest brother was about 9 months old, our family went to a park for a picnic. My uncle, who is afraid of everything small and furry, was on the teeter totter with my brother sitting in front of him. An older sister was at the other end. She was eating grapes. Uncle Sonny used his weight to hold her up in the air. He must have looked away briefly when she rolled a grape down the board. He looked back and saw something coming at him fast. He jumped off the board, leaving my baby brother there. My sister went down fast. He went up fast and was launched into the air. After some crying and yelling, it was discovered no harm was done. I remember that incident so well.

  2. A gift of a poem for Easter, Linda. Easter comes at precisely the right time of the year when all around us is undergoing renewal and when we humans are emerging from the dark nights of winter and varying dosages of Seasonal Affective Disorder and to feel the warm sun on our faces (as I did yesterday) is to feel re-born and re-invigorated.

    1. It’s true for us all: or, at least, it’s true for us here in the northern hemisphere. I suppose Easter down under, with autumn coming on, is a bit of a different proposition.

      But, yes: sunshine, warmth, the calling birds, and the scent of flowers on the breeze are what my grandmother would have called a balm for the soul. Enjoy Easter day, and the spring days to come.

    1. Cinnamon, thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was perfect, too: nice even for those who don’t celebrate Easter. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for commenting. I hope your day is wonderful.

    1. Between Oliver and Wendell Berry, there’s enough good poetry to last a lifetime. I wouldn’t throw our T.S. Eliot, but this year? I wasn’t in the mood for such heaviness.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the poem, and I hope you’re enjoying the season. I was roaming a bit myself today, and guess what I found? A nice, long stretch of highway decorated with our native anemones. It was better than any Easter basket.

      1. Lol, it gives me a tiny jab of envy, when I think of actual (REAL, outside) flowers for Easter time… Potted Madonna Lilies and forced bulbs are the closest we get up here; )
        Did you get any photos?

        1. Did I get photos? Oh, dear, yes. Flowers and birds and spiders, oh, my! I’ll probably start going through them tomorrow evenng.
          I found ditches full of iris, too, and a beautiful swallowtail butterfly, not to mention some yellow what’s-this, and a gorgeous pink I-think-I’ve-seen-this-before. My identification skills are lacking, but I’m working on it.

    1. I thought the meadow-walkers — and mountain-hikers — would like it. I’m glad you did. Here’s hoping the poor sheep in your post finds lots of lovely, green grass to celebrate, too!

  3. Mary Oliver is always apropos, always on point, always lovely. I have two quotes from her on the sidebar of my blog, words to live up to.

    1. As a matter of fact, those quotations on your sidebar were among my earliest encounters with her. I remember reading one of them, and going to find the whole poem. Introducing her to others who may not know her work seems the least I can do.

      Happy Easter to you and your mom. I hope the day’s a good one, At least the wind’s starting to lay, and I see you’ll have sunshine. A little gentleness seems like the least nature could do for you.

    1. And to you and Dr. Advice, Kayti. There will be no ham on the table here, this year. it’s crawfish time on the bayou, and we’ll be partaking, in our fashion. I hope you have treats in store, too — and a fine day to enjoy them.

        1. You’ve reminded me that I have my mother’s recipe for chocolate silk. I need to pull that out, and find an occasion to make it — or create an occasion. It’s one of those things that demands to be shared.

  4. The meadow photo is quite beautiful. I really like the scene with the large oaks amid a field of verdant grass and wild flowers. The poem is lovely as well and the poem paired with your photo is excellent.

    A meaningful and inspirational Easter post.

    1. Spring certainly has arrived, Yvonne. I happened across this field on a Brazoria county road, and made a deal with the huge bull living there: I wouldn’t bother him, if he didn’t bother me.

      I was out again yesterday, and brought you this little Easter gift. I’m fairly sure it’s a black swallowtail. Doesn’t it look nice and fresh? I found it at the Brazoria refuge, and the staff there said they’d been seeing swallowtail caterpillars.

      Happy Easter to you all. Despite it all, there’s a lot to celebrate.

      1. Aaah, that is a great shot of the black swallowtail on an Indian Paintbrush. You are so fortunate to have the refuge within driving distance. Lucky you. Thank you for the Easter gift. I enjoyed seeing the butterfly. I’ve only seen sulfurs and a few admirals but those fly year round whenever the weather warms up.

    1. Thanks, Bella. Enjoy the grands, and the day. I’m sure you’re deep into those baskets by now — tradition is a wonderful thing. Happy Easter to you and H.

    1. And to think this was taken one day before your most recent snowy-Monday photo, Steve. This is the time of year when the great weather divide in this country really does become apparent.

      Soon enough,you’ll have flowers galore. People down here photograph their kids in fields of bluebonnets. Maybe you could photograph your new family member in fields of flowers, too.

  5. Yes, spring, faith, hope. Thanks for this inspiring poem, Linda. I’d like to read more of Mary Oliver’s poetry. Happy Easter to you!

    1. You’d like her work, Arti. Together with Pattiann Rogers, she’s one of the best interpreters of nature I know — at least, in poetry. I hope your spirits can soar a little in this season; this fellow hopes so, too. Happy Easter!

        1. Yes, I did take the photo. It was at the refuge I was headed to when I stopped to take the photo of the meadow, up above. I’m glad you’re home, but understand how different the routine must be. That’s why it’s doubly nice to have you stop by.

  6. Beautiful photo for a beautiful poem, Linda! They’re just perfect for Easter morning as well.

    I wonder why we don’t realize more readily that Our Lord was once a young man? A man who probably brought His Mother dandelions, as my Domer brought them to me? Perhaps the realization makes what He endured — for us — more painful?? At any rate, it should make us more grateful, don’t you think?

    Happy Easter to you (and I hope that meadow still doesn’t have you sneezing!!)

    1. Welcome to the Easter season, Debbie. It always tickles me that while the hawkers of chocolate bunnies, baskets, and candy eggs already are moving down the road (what’s next? Mothers’ Day, I suppose) there’s a whole season of joy ahead.

      I hope your day was a good one. It’s a little ironic that, although two days out in the country didn’t leave me sneezing, yesterday’s time by Galveston Bay did. It was so cool and lovely here yesterday and last night I wanted to leave the windows open, but it took about five minutes of sneezing and watery eyes to get past that impulse.

      Happy Easter Monday ~ and by the way: sorry about ND.

      1. As long as I keep taking my Allegra and Nasacort, I’m okay from insufferable sneezing and such. That was one rough loss last night — I so wanted the Irish to pull it out and knock off the last remaining No. 1 team!!

    1. Misery truly does love company, Phil. I just commented to Debbie, above, about how the pollen has rolled back in. On the other hand, given the terrible swarms of mosquitos I encountered this weekend, I’ll choose pollen, every time. Down at Skipper’s early Saturday morning, John told me how nice my hair looked. I told him it had to be the light spray of Off! Deep Woods that gave it that special shine.

      I trust there was a treat-filled egg or two over at your place. I actually heard the old “Kix are for Trids” joke told yesterday. Civilization may yet endure.

      1. May be a long biting season this year – we’ve dodged the mosquito until last night in the backyard. We’ll all be wafting killer smells this summer?
        Bet at some point long in the future some petrified Trix will be found and confused with gemstones…stringing them might become the newest fad…again. HA HA.

    1. It’s a surprising, memorable line, isn’t it? I hope you day was filled with singing, metaphorically and otherwise, and that your heart sings throughout the season.

    1. It was lovely, and involved great quantities of seafood: always a treat. A friend had taken my advice to visit my eye doctor for a second opinion on her failing vision; as a result, she had her first cataract removal/lens implantation on Wednesday. She spent the day just looking at things, marveling at it all. It made for a perfect Easter day.

      Those do look like paintbrushes, but I think they might be brick-enclosed watering tanks, or something like that. There was a way to get into the meadow for a closer look, but this fellow, who was rather close at hand, discouraged further exploration.

  7. Mary Oliver always hits the right note. When I think of the lovely early spring we are enjoying it is easy to recall the rushes just coming back after the snows. No snow here this Easter. Just sunshine, flowers and love. I hope your day was very, very happy. (I loved the photo.)

    1. Oliver’s a wonder, isn’t she? I tend to go back to favorites, but I decided to do a little exploring in her work, and found this.

      I’m so glad you’re having that early spring. Since Easter also came early, it certainly made things easier on people who enjoy things like Easter egg hunts, and so on. Did you do your egg dying this year? I did my part by buying a dozen multi-colored eggs at the farmers’ market: beige, ivory, blue, greenish-blue. I can’t remember all the breeds that laid them, but they surely are pretty.

    1. Thanks so much, Bob. The meadow reminds me of the wonderful photos I see from England. We have a short period of lushness in spring, but then comes summer’s heat, and things don’t look quite so fresh and pretty. It’s reason enough to enjoy the beauty while it’s here.

    1. Easter was perfectly lovely: lazy and sociable. The day was much like that shown in the photo, too, with lots of sunshine, light breezes, and flowers nodding here and there. A friend in Wales found the day a bit cool and damp for her taste — I hope yours was more spring-like.

    1. I hardly could believe it when you said 6-8 weeks, but then I remembered: it may be late March, but it is still March. One of the great traditions of my Iowa growing up always was the boys’ basketball tournament blizzard: and of course, that was in March.

      Well, I do what I can. Here’s a pretty bouquet for you. I “picked” it on Saturday, so it’s nice and fresh. My, I wish I could take you for a drive. There’s a lot you’d appreciate. I even know where to stop for pie.

      1. I would love to go for that drive. And pie, too? Sigh. Thank you for the bouquet. It is lovely.

        Who knows – Mama Nature may decide to give us real spring in the middle of April. I was just being grumpy. Comes of shoveling wet slushy mess off my stairs last night.

    1. It’s a great poem, isn’t it? I hope the weekend was a nice, easy one for you. I thought about you on Sunday, when a friend started talking about her dogs pulling some “potato-like things” off a mysterious vine, and peeling them. She wasn’t sure if they were eating them, too. I sent her over to your place for a little enlightenment — she didn’t have a clue what she had.

      I found ditches filled with wild iris on Saturday, and thought about Lake Verret — I guess maybe it will have to be next year for that trip. Time is slipping away faster every year. That’s all right — there are plenty of other treats to be enjoyed over your way!

  8. Just beautiful. I think that Mary Oliver is one of our best contemporary poets. I didn’t know this one. Thanks for sharing it, Linda, and a blessed belated Easter greeting to you.

    1. That was part of the pleasure of sharing it, Anne. I hadn’t known it, either, and I was sure some others would enjoy being introduced to it. I’m glad you like it.

      The good news is that, just like Spring, Easter’s a season as well as a day, so your greetings aren’t belated at all. It’s almost time to flip the calendar page, and enjoy a view of sheep in a meadow near Tywyn’s vicarage. The photo’s delightfully spring-like — I hope you’re enjoying the same by now.

  9. What a beautiful poem Linda, and it goes with my way of thinking of pantheism: Nature=God and vice versa.

    “Of course I am thinking
    the Lord was once young
    and will never in fact be old.”

    Why is it that Nature is always regenerating itself? Even in winter there is always transition and rejuvenating change.

    “And who else could this be, who goes off
    down the green path
    carrying his sandals, and singing?”

    Jesus is a symbol of love and purity: humility. A visionary of goodness in all = faith. Thanks for sharing this wonderful poem.

    1. You’ve offered such a rich, lovely response, Maria. While I’m not a pantheist, I have been interested in a new movement within the churches to explore panentheism: the idea that God is in all of nature. I’m not sure why it’s taken them so long to reach that conclusion, but I’m glad to see it.

      But that aside, your point about nature always regenerating is exactly right. It happens seasonally, and it happens after trauma: such as fire or hurricane. As a matter of fact, it even has happened in Hiroshima, where the power of flowers seems to have proven at least as strong as human destruction.

      We seem to be rather short on humility these days. Although I’ve never thought of it in exactly that way, it seems to me that one of the strengths of Oliver’s work is her ability to communicate the beauty of natural humility: that is, the beauty of the world.

    1. What a splendid idea, Dana. Do people read to one another any more? We always did. Audio books are fine, but the real thing is even better, especially if someone brings lemonade and chicken salad.

    1. Indeed. The cycles of life, the creativity of the seasons, offer a kind of wisdom that doesn’t translate well to “how to” books. Going out into the world with open eyes and an open heart is more rewarding, I think.

      One of my favorite songs, “La Vie Dansante,” contains the line, “Feel it all with a willing heart; every stop, there’s a place to start.” There’s nothing more hopeful than that.

  10. Thanks for the delightful photo, and the poem that invites the eyes to walk about the image, drinking in the blue, soaking up the yellow, and trying on the verdant green for a time.

    1. Spring is rather like getting a new box of Crayolas, isn’t it? The colors washing through the world right now are delightful.

      The impulse to kick off the shoes and do some barefootin’ is nearly irresistible. Too bad there are so many thistles, stickers, and dewberry vines. That meadow is life, writ small: generally beautiful, with small, hidden impediments scattered about.

    1. It is, indeed. In fact, I saw some lovely green growth this week, coming straight out of the top of an old fence post. I’m not quite sure how it did it, but Spring will find a way!

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