this bird has flown!
A FRIEND IS AWAY on a cross-country RV trip, and told me I could pick any flowers or vegetables I found in her garden while she's gone. She is a wonderful gardener, and though other neighbors are regularly picking, she said there's plenty to go around.
Another friend asked why my gardener friend would have planted so much, if she knew she was going to go away at harvest time, and I had to think about that question.
We start planting here in late March or April, when the covid was just beginning to bloom. My gardener friend knew that she and her husband wanted to go away - it is a trip they've been planning forever - but they didn't know what would happen, in terms of the virus, travel, etc. And so, she planted.
Thinking about this, I realized - for about the millionth time - that none of us ever really knows what will happen. Not tomorrow, not today, not even in four hours. Most of the time, we live as if we do know - we count on it, too. But the truth is, we don't.
Of course, there is comfort in thinking that we know. Believing that we know. But maybe there is comfort, in a way, in not knowing. In doing the planting because it is time to plant.
It is the comfort of the moment, this one, rich, round, life-filled moment, this now.
Zinnias from my friend's garden.
A Last Thought
Song for Autumn
Don't you imagine the leaves dream now
how comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of the air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don't you think
the trees, especially those with
mossy hollows, are beginning to look for
the birds that will come - six, a dozen - to sleep
inside their bodies? And don't you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
stiffens and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its long blue shadows. The wind wags
its many tails. And in the evening
the piled firewood shifts a little
longing to be on its way.
- Mary Oliver
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