Monday, April 2, 2012

So Much is Happening Out There


Early this morning, I mean, really early this morning, even before the light was glinting off the metal roof of the old chicken coop, I was sitting here thinking about all that is going on out there, 'there' being the world of nature, all the creatures sleeping in their burrows or nests, perhaps nestled in among their young, those sleeping in the meadow and under the pines, those returning to their places of rest after spending several hours roaming the night, and those who are waking to another day. And, having just read the perfect poem to fit these early morning thoughts...but first, let me tell you what led to them.

Late yesterday afternoon, I stepped outside to take the sheets off the clothesline and a bald eagle was soaring overhead. He visits quite regularly now, often landing on the scraggly top of the pine tree at the end of the driveway. At about the same time, Buddy was all excited by the chipmunk that lives under our porch and followed his scurrying with a great deal of enthusiasm, as though expecting any moment the chipmunk would stop and play with him.

Then, later in the evening, an owl was hooting in the woods just beyond the hollow, quite boldly. I couldn't see him, only hear him, but his call was loud and persistent. Other birds were calling rather enthusiastically as well, almost a cacophony, but a rather nice one, and the insects seemed to be coming to life as I stood and listened. So many insects cover even one acre of ground. Millions. Many millions. Really. There's so much going on out there. When I think of all that's happening in the natural world, all around this planet, at any given moment.... It's mind-boggling. Also, very life-affirming.

Mary Oliver, as always, says it with love:

"It Was Early"

It was early,
  which has always been my hour
    to begin looking
      at the world

and of course,
  even in the darkness,
    to begin
      listening into it,

especially
  under the pines
    where the owl lives
      and sometimes calls out

as I walk by,
  as he did
    on this morning.
      So many gifts!

What do they mean?
  In the marshes
    where the pink light
      was just arriving

the mink
  with his bristle tail
    was stalking
      the soft-eared mice,

and in the pines
  the cones were heavy,
    each one
      ordained to open.

Sometimes I need
  only to stand
    wherever I am
      to be blessed.

Little mink, let me watch you.
  Little mice, run and run.
    Dear pine cone, let me hold you
      as you open.


~ Mary Oliver, from Evidence





For more on just how much life is out there, here's a good page, with fascinating information. I mean it. Fascinating: www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmnh/buginfo/bugnos.htm




58 comments:

  1. Hello Teresa:
    It is so true that we are surrounded with so much to inspire and wonder at, and all too often in the haste of our daily lives we leave insufficient time to reflect. The early morning is, we feel, always a very special period of the day and one to be savoured as obviously you do,

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    1. I love mornings, before too much human activity takes over, when one can appreciate the moment and the coming day is still ripe with possibility.

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  2. Teresa -- I too have often had similar thoughts as I walk around my wild territory here in Kentucky. There is so much wildness it is almost overwhelming. I can't identify all but live here comforted by their busyness with living. -- barbara

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    1. When I read that there are many, many species not yet identified, it really brought home the immense numbers of little beings that we live among. There's so much we never hear or see, even when we try. I, too, find it comforting.

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  3. This was in my email this morning...

    Halleluiah

    Everyone should be born into this world happy
    and loving everything.
    But in truth it rarely works that way.
    For myself, I have spent my life clamoring toward it.
    Halleluiah, anyway I'm not where I started!

    And have you too been trudging like that, sometimes
    almost forgetting how wondrous the world is
    and how miraculously kind some people can be?
    And have you too decided that probably nothing important
    is ever easy?
    Not, say, for the first sixty years.

    Halleluiah, I'm sixty now, and even a little more,
    and some days I feel I have wings.

    ~ Mary Oliver ~

    Coincidence? I think not!

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    1. This would not be the first time we were on the same page. I also appreciate deeply all that this part of life offers, the inner freedom and I like to think a deeper awareness of what really matters. No coincidences, one Mind. :)

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  4. Lovely T-gosh,The poem is wonderful!

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    1. One can't go wrong with Mary Oliver. Her poetry fills my life with rich underpinnings of renewed awareness.

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  5. Not to disparage Mary Oliver, Teresa, but you said it better!

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    1. Dear Ms. Sparrow, You are so kind and I thank you for your encouragement. I have to remind myself that my writing will take its own form in its own time.

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  6. Yes, Mary Oliver echoes what you say exactly, I love all her poems. She has a great book out called Swan, I got it from the library and wish I owned it.

    I also feel like you about all the life around my cottage, aren't we blessed?

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    1. Cait, I would like to expand my own collection of poetry, especially hers. So many wonderful poems to discover. We are, indeed, blessed.

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  7. Mary Oliver fills the lives of many of us with joy and beauty. So do you, Teresa. I walked to the bus this morning listening to the cacophony of birdsong, so many different kinds! Thank you for this lovely and uplifting post. I am truly blessed.

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    1. Dear DJan, Thank you so very much. It is reciprocal, of course. :)

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  8. You are lucky you don't have our dog. He found a gopher under our porch and promptly began to eat up the porch to get at it!
    We have those birds here too, and a cacophony of goldfinches.

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    1. Yikes! I'm glad I don't have to deal with that prospect. He eats the odd thing now and then, but I think the porch is safe. I love seeing the purple finches. Such a great color.

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  9. This was lovely. I have never read much poetry but you definitely have given me reason to do so. Thank you!

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    1. And the timing is perfect. April is National Poetry Month. :)

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  10. It's like you and Mary Oliver are soul mates!

    I find it comforting when we humans truly realize what little we actually know or are even aware of. We could do with a lot more humble. ;) The magnificence and complexity of the earth and nature--especially in the late night and early morning hours--cloaks me with calm. Wonderful post, Teresa!! :)

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    1. I can't think of much finer than to be soul mates with Ms. Oliver. she has been one of my finest teachers, through her writing, her poetry leading the way.

      Yes, humility in the presence of such life is a good lesson to learn. I really like what you've said here, Rita, especially, "cloaks me with calm." Very nice. Thanks so much, dear heart.

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  11. And so is the human soul -- ordained to open.

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  12. Sometimes it's overwhelming to realise how much life there is out there. That's why we need to do creative things, to keep control of it, somehow - at least, that's what I think.

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    1. Jenny, Perhaps it's only our thoughts we really control, but that's so important and to participate in Life at any creative level is a wonderful way to participate and make our souls expand. Thank you!

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  13. the birds woke me this morning and told me to get out and visit

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    1. Well, I'm glad you came over here to "visit." Isn't it wonderful when nature talks and we listen? It just makes life so much better, and easier. Have a fun day!

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  14. have you seen the live video feed of the Decorah eagles? So calming,interesting, hypnotizing.
    http://www.ustream.tv/channel-popup/decorah-eagles
    Jeanne K.
    mandala56

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    1. Having them Live, in front of me every day, is even better! I Love watching them soar overhead. But, thank you for this, Jeanne.

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  15. I like that with each post a painting is forming in my head of this landscape you live in, and the character that inhabit it.

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    1. Art as Life. I love that notion and I hope the picture I'm painting is filled with the beauty I see around me. Thank you so much, Med. I hope you're having a wonder-filled day!

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  16. Oh, an eagle has adopted you! What a thrill. I've never been a morning person, but as I get more and more interested in birds I realize that an early-morning walk around Como Lake would bring me much more into their world.

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    1. Oh, I hope so. He's been paying regular visits. Walking around Como sounds wonderful. I've promised myself I will get down to the Observatory this summer. It's been many many years. I hope spring is being good to you in your neighborhood.

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  17. An owl and an eagle? Oh well, I do have a chipmunk.
    You have inspired me to sit down with my Mary Oliver books tonight.
    Thank you.

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    1. Yes, we all share the space quite nicely. I'm glad you'll be spending the evening with Mary. She's awfully good company, I think. Thanks for commenting, Sandy.

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  18. And isn't it amazing, that you too are one more strand in the fabric of this life, but of them all, the only one who can truly appreciate and journel the rest.

    Another beautiful post!

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    1. Now you have me seeing eagles with notebooks and owls with sketchpads - don't even get me started on the bugs - all sharing notes and observations of this strange human creature who lives among them. Thanks, t.

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  19. It certainly is mind-boggling when we think of all the other life forms that are continuing on with their lives. Having been so recently touched by the death of my Uncle, it makes me so much more keenly aware of just how insignificant we all are in the scheme of things. If I hadn't been there and hadn't noticed or have written about it, he would just have transitioned and none would be the wiser. We truly are just grains of sand (and maybe even smaller than that!) if you think about eternity. Thanks for noticing the small things Theresa, and reporting on them. I think that by being in my consciousness now it makes them real and acknowledged.

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    1. It is their presence in our consciousness that makes them real to us. Acknowledging them reminds us to enjoy life in all its manifestations and the beautiful ideas they represent. It's an amazing world of endless ideas. Thanks, Teri.

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  20. We really were on the same page, weren't we? It's taken me a bit of time to catch up, and here you are, with this wonderful poem.

    Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.

    Isn't this wonderful? I feel I could take those words and etch them on stone to place in my garden and remember them as I make my garden walks.

    You really do photograph the best sunscapes, Teresa.

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  21. Penny, I also love that line. Good words to remember. And thanks for the kind words about my photo. I actually took it through the picture window! I love being able to watch the colors in the sky change as the sun rises. As always, I so appreciate your comments.

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  22. I love Mary Oliver's work. And I love love love the early morn. Whenever I get to thinking of the countless critters out there and their very important lives,I try to count myself among them. I feel less isolated and more a part of the great big happening and I think seriously about what I want to do with my "one wild and precious life..."

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    1. Being "a part of the great big happening," is a beautiful way to describe the world and our place in it. And I so love that question posed by Mary. I ask it of myself from time to time as a way of staying awake and aware.

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  23. Wonderful post. Yes, there is a lot going on out there. When one considers everything from the invertebrates, to the avian species, to the mammals, much less reptiles and amphibians it is a very busy world. And all of it right under our own noses.

    Terrific poem by Mary Oliver. She's the best!

    Thanks for a terrific read.

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    1. Yes, all, right under our noses. So much to be aware of, to witness and love. Mary's poems are a call to do just that and have been great guidance for me.

      Thanks, Bill.

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  24. Teresa, I ponder the natural world like you do and am always impressed with what comes out and over the ground. You have a bald eagle! What a sight that must be. There are bald eagles at Possum Kingdom Lake north of here, but they do not come down this far -- about fifty miles.

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    1. Hi Jack, There have been several soaring overhead in a group, which is unusual except for certain times of year, from what I understand. Now, what appears to be the one comes frequently to the river and lands at the top of the tree. The photos I've taken are poor, but I'm so glad I have a record of it.

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  25. Yes, there is much out there—millions of lives in millions of forms—and it is good to remind ourselves that we stand in the midst of all of this, not superior, not inferior, just part of it, connected with everything. Throughout the years, I have had a few mystical encounters with animals in the wild, and I came away from those experiences believing that these creatures are capable of looking into our souls, just as we are capable of looking into theirs.

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    1. It is our connection to all of life that continually amazes and intrigues me. I have no doubt, either, that they are quite capable of looking into our souls and I would venture to say they have an inherent ability to live in the present moment, something we humans seem to be striving to rediscover within ourselves. Thank you, George.

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  26. Is there anything better than sheets that have dried on a clothes line? That brings back memories of my childhood. Glad to hear that you have a bald eagle looking out after you. Ohhhh and Buddy too.

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    1. Hi Steven! Those sheets are divine. I especially look forward to the first night between them after bringing them in from the line. I call it the 'sweet smell of childhood.'

      Yes, a bald eagle, and Buddy, too. Thank you so much.

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  27. Each event in Nature carries a message so subtle that only a mind in meditative state can experience and comprehend that mystery. No animal or man crosses our path without a message hidden. Mother Nature is about subtlety. How often do we stop to observe and ponder over these wonders in nature? Mystical indeed her play In mystery Nature mesmerizes us. It is definitely LIFE AFFIRMING. So nice to read this. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts in response to this post. There's so much to see, so much to become even more aware of all around us.

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  28. and the poem goes well with the writeup:)

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    1. Mary Oliver continually feeds me fresh thoughts of life with her own very keen and poetic observations. She is so inspiring. It was easy to find words to resonate with her own.

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