Stopping a Moment in a Busy Day


No time to write this week. That is what I had told myself. Piles of accumulated papers need to be sorted and filed. Pillows distributed throughout the house for 4 adult daughters and their husbands, and 6 grandchildren, arriving on Friday. Blue Diamond Original Almond Milk purchased for one daughter, and cucumbers for one of the grandchildren. Many other special requests to shop for. Dogs groomed. Airport transportation coordinated. All in preparation for a big birthday celebration for my husband.

But then I saw the jonquils had bloomed. Today. While it is still February. And I felt them call out for me to pay attention. Because who knows what the weather may be like tomorrow? Or, my life for that matter. For sure tomorrow I’ll be in more of a tizzy. But today there are so many of the jonquils I picked a few to bring in the house and put in my mother’s green vase.

I expect poet Mary Oliver has written a poem about Jonquils. She has written many about other species of flowers and animals. But the poem I recall is the one called Summer Day when she is celebrating the wonder of idleness, when she asks “Who made the grasshopper?” and falls down to kneel in the grass. And then, as if in response to one who would challenge her lack of accomplishment on a day dedicated to such reverie she proclaims:

Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

~ Mary Oliver ~

(New and Selected Poems, Volume I)
And so, I am thankful for this rainy cold day when the jonquils bloomed.

About helena grace

Actively seeking how to live in this seventh decade of my life with creativity, compassion, and imagination. While I'm a retired lawyer/mediator and life-long community activist especially in child advocacy, my relationships with others, two-legged and four-legged, define the source of my growth. My spiritual life connects deeply with music and in the community of the creative. I treasure being a mother, wife, grandmother, and daughter. I experience glimpses of the divine in children's illustrated books, peoples of the world, artists, especially of indigenous art forms. I am intrigued at the possibility of finding kindred spirits in the blogosphere, and exploring how to be authentic and maintain a sense of the sacred, and perhaps the private, in such a global dimension.

4 responses »

  1. It’s a good life lesson for all of us, that those tender little jonquils don’t seem to put much stock in the weather–they just burst forth with all the energy they’ve got, no matter what tomorrow brings. Since we humans aren’t quite as trusting, we should at least do no less than what you’ve done–pause long enough to reflect the beauty and serenity they offer. I think I’m going to like that Ms. Oliver, too, when I can pause long enough to look her up, and I will.

    • Please do look up Ms. Oliver. She’s a wonderful poet and writes the most lyrical poetry about the natural world. Thank you for stopping by. I haven’t quite recovered enough from my company this past weekend to write, but will have something up soon. I noticed today the early dogwood — cornelian cherry I think it is called — was blooming at a park a few miles south of me. Lovely!

  2. I am inspired that you were able to stop for a minute to write a post. So often the call of the beds to be made and the piles of paper to be filed trump everything. Blessings, Kate

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