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Hurricane // A Poem by Mary Oliver

Hurricane // A Poem by Mary Oliver

On page 21 in Mary Oliver's A Thousand Mornings, I found this poem.

Since it's not my first time through the book, I suppose you could say it was more of a re-discovery of an old love.

I love Oliver's poetry because it explores the mysteries of our daily experience. It is how I want to be: open to the teachings contained in the smallest of moments.

I want to do more than work and pay the bills. I want to do more than just survive. Don't you want more than that, too?

I want to feel whole and fully alive, connected to the moment, part of everything, grateful beyond words.

This poem, titled "Hurricane," is an example, as all true poetry tends to be, of exploring an element of life with such clarity and finding in that, cause to look inward. If we're mindful and willing, what happens around us can be a catalyst for introspection and self-understanding.

We learn that we see in the world what we carry in our hearts. What we can accept within ourselves we can carry forth with greater kindness and intent.

It's a beautiful thing. I hope you enjoy reading this poem as much as I have.

Hurricane

It didn't behave

like anything you had

ever imagined. The wind

tore at the trees, the rain

fell for days slant and hard.

The back of the hand

to everything. I watched

the trees bow and their leaves fall

and crawl back into the earth.

As though, that was that.

This was one hurricane

I lived through, the other one

was of a different sort, and

lasted longer. Then

I felt my own leaves giving up and

falling. The back of the hand to

everything. But listen now to what happened

to the actual trees;

toward the end of that summer they

pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.

It was the wrong season, yes,

but they couldn't stop. They

looked like telephone poles and didn't

care. And after the leaves came

blossoms. For some things

there are no wrong seasons.

Which is what I dream of for me.

-- Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings

Tell me:

In the context of healing or growth or purpose, what do you dream of for yourself?

Tell me in the comments. Everything you share means something to me.

With warmth,

Jen

P.S. I dream of inhabiting each moment and my life feeling sacred because of it.

P.P.S. I hope you find what you're looking for, too.

This poem, titled "Hurricane," is an example, as all true poetry tends to be, of exploring an element of life with such clarity and finding cause to look inward. If we're mindful and willing, what happens around us can be a catalyst for self-understanding. We learn that we see in the world what we carry in our hearts.

Comments on this post (4)

  • Jun 11, 2022

    Joe, thank you for sharing such profound words on such a difficult day. I send you a warm hug from across the way. May you have that fullness in your life and continue to open up your heart to new experiences. May we make of life all that we can so that it’s bursting with love, wonder and adventure. x

    — Jennifer Healey

  • Jun 11, 2022

    My mom died today. She had a long, arduous journey. I was with her at the very end. Hospice was a lot harder than I had anticipated. It is hard to watch a loved one die. But I would not have been anywhere else in the world. If that makes any sense. As I read in some of the grief materials. “Life is forever changed.” And so it is. I wish for myself a life that is no longer constrained by fear and perceived limitations. That I may seize upon my courage and resilience. I have proven to myself now that I have it. I wish for myself a season of true living. I’m talking the seat-of-the-pants, adventure kind of life experiences. If I have learned anything over these past months. It’s that time is short. Because in the end, it really is just you and the love you have shared. Everything else falls away like ashes.

    — Joe Montgomery

  • Mar 27, 2022

    What I dream for myself is that I not spend another moment in my desert life praying for rain.

    — Abby Ingraham

  • Mar 14, 2022

    Thank you for sharing Mary’s poem – I hadn’t read that one before. Astonishing and lovely as always.

    What I dream for myself? There’s a lovely line from John O’Donohue:

    May all that is unlived in you
    Blossom into a future
    Graced with love.

    What I dream for myself is to live the unlived part of me. For me, this means spending more time with music, living music, playing guitar, creating, composing, connecting people with the music that is flowing in me. And may this music in someway be of value to others.

    This is what I dream for me :)

    Thank you for your ongoing offerings. Kind wishes always,

    Ngā mihi maioha,

    Neal

    — Neal Ghoshal

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