Take comfort in the ordinary

Photo Credit: cygnus921 via flickr

I’m drawing on a lot of wisdom of the world right now. Mary Oliver always heals me.


By Mary Oliver

From her Why I Wake Early collection

Every day

I see or I hear


that more or less

kills me

with delight,

that leaves me

like a needle

in the haystack

of light.

It is what I was born for —

to look, to listen,

to lose myself

inside this soft world —

to instruct myself

over and over

in joy,

and acclamation.

Nor am I talking

about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,

the very extravagant —

but the ordinary,

the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.

Oh, good scholar,

I say to myself,

how can you help

but grow wise

with such teachings

as these —

the untrimmable light

of the world,

the ocean’s shine,

the prayers that are made

out of grass?

Let’s grow wise together this week and continue to deepen our study of paying close attention to the moment we’re in and not the moments we long for.

In fact, let’s stare lovingly at those who are around us and who demonstrate their love to us each day. Let’s give it up to the little charming rays of sunshine that grace our days and our nights and all the in-betweens. Let’s celebrate all that surrounds us — like little love notes, the way someone holds our face with compassion, and friends that just get us like no one else ever will. We are well on our path to being Awesomely Awake but let’s really devote our presence to the drab and the common, and try to crack open the beauty in all of it. Let’s surrender to that moment when we find ourselves lost in it.

I’d love for you to share a moment in your week when you uncover profound beauty in the ordinary — maybe a stack of dishes, maybe a face sticky with strawberry jam.

Please share here when you find your own prayers in the blades of the green, green grass and Amens in the blue skies adorned with the whitest of white, fluffy clouds.

11 Responses to Take comfort in the ordinary

  1. Beautiful. I love that poem and love your words about paying attention. I found a prayer this weekend in my daughter’s hair at the ER. She lay quietly, afraid, as we waited for the doctor to tell us that she had broken her collarbone. But she was so brave, and so thoughtful, and I just about burst with all the feelings I had in that moment. xox

    • Oh my, Lindsey!! Those moments are definite wake-ups, aren’t they? When we have to surrender to the fear … such raw moments and all you want to do is eat them up. xoxo to you and your brave girl.

  2. really needed this today. this is 2nd post ive seen on fb that spoke to me today. i really enjoy your blog and constantly forward to my bestie since she needs these things. not sure if shes reading them yet. i can only hope.
    thanks for sharing :)

  3. Most parents just saw their kids on the field playing soccer…like any ‘ole day, any ‘ole game. No big deal. Some may have even complained about having to sit at yet another soccer game. I, however, sat in my chair seeing prayer after prayer. My son was playing soccer!! He has SEVERE allergy-induced asthma. He had to sit out at the end of the game to rest, but my heart swelled with pride and happiness. When a parent handed out a snack that he could not eat, (he has a peanut allergy), he didn’t complain. He said that we could give it to his cousin. He’s a fighter. These ordinary things are extraordinary for us.

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