For the past week, I’ve been fascinated by a robin who has taken up residence on top of the honeysuckle vine in our back patio. Her nest is fairly exposed and allows for easy viewing. As I spy from the window above, I admire her devotion and single-mindedness to protect her eggs, and her apparent lack of concern for anything else. The joy I’m getting from watching this astonishing display of nature makes me think of today’s poem by Mary Oliver.

Mary Oliver reading “Messenger.”


My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird – 
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect?  Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Mary Oliver

What’s caught your eye recently and left you astonished?

Mary Oliver mentions distractions such as old boots or aging that may keep her from noticing nature. What keeps you from “standing still and learning to be astonished?”


“Messenger” by Mary Oliver from Thirst, 2006. Copyrighted material used for educational or therapeutic purposes.

Photo: PR


    1. Never heard of balloon flowers. Just googled them. They do look pretty. Need to plant some now — along with a lilac bush! I better get busy…..🙂


      1. Hi Gary. I never heard of them either, but little sister (AKA mini mom) introduced them to me. I love them. You should definitely get some. I have the purple. They are so pretty. 🙂


    1. I didn’t know you had a cat! I agree the way cats bathe is amazing — and very soothing to watch. 🤗


  1. What a great poem — and I love the picture of your robin and her beautiful eggs! So magical. I absolutely love this time of year — so I took a stab at writing another short poem to share what amazes me. I think I’ll title it “Of Carpenter Bees and Peonies”. Here goes:

    It’s late May — my favorite time of year.
    All the life around me brings much needed cheer after all the blear of winter.

    Just look at the baby birds!
    The carpenter bees!
    The scurrying chipmunks!
    The vibrant peonies!

    I sit quietly on my porch, listen and watch.

    Oh how the glorious symphony lifts me out of this Covid funk
    and into a world where we are virus free and living in peaceful harmony!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for sending the link to “Peonies”. I was not familiar with it. Such a moving poem! I love how she ends it, too. Brought tears to my eyes.


  2. What a spectacle you have there! I notice so many things this spring in the quiet and unusual setting of this year. From the lush green walls of brick buildings in the neighborhood, to the lilac aroma (yes, your previous poem still resonates), to people enjoying hammocks by the river. I am a constant Flâneur and observer, “loving the world” during my daily strolls.

    Liked by 2 people

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