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Perspective: A gift from a poet

Susan Stephens

I am a Mary Oliver enthusiast. And I discover on FaceBook, many people are taken with her insights. In her poems, she peers under the ordinary to discover extraordinary treasures...like this one:


The dream of my life

Is to lie down by a slow river

And stare at the light in the trees -

To learn something by being nothing

a little while

but the rich

Lens of attention.


Pay attention! I hear my fourth grade teacher admonish me when she sees me dreaming out the classroom window. But deep down in my young soul, I know that’s exactly what I am doing! I’m imaging those planets stretching out into space that we just read about. What’s beyond them? Are there other worlds like ours in other solar systems?


Then there is this Oliver gift:


Keep some room in

your heart for

The unimaginable.


With my strong adult proclivity for rational thought, this bumper sticker has always been a challenge. However, being on our farm has afforded me opportunities to explore the unimaginable, from butterflies landing on my red head, to picking up a waiting toad to be stroked, to conversations with birds whose calls I try to imitate.


With this I’ll end:


It is a serious thing

just to be alive

on this fresh morning

in this broken world.


It’s serious business – nurturing a hopeful perspective these days! How are you doing? Let Mary Oliver help!


I’m Connie Seraphine and that is my Mary Oliver Perspective.

Connie Seraphine is a Sycamore-area writer and poet.