There is a Place Beyond Ambition–Mary Oliver

I am trying to wait patiently, but am not succeeding. Just today, maybe four hours and a half ago, I ordered a used hardback copy of Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poetry and Poetry by Mary Oliver. It has yet to arrive. Granted, snow is slamming into Fern Creek sideways, and that may delay delivery somewhat.

Emily read the first essay today as snow fell, and thought of me, so she said. She simply wrote:

Dear Lisa,
Have you read Winter Hours by Mary Oliver?
You must.
Affectionately,
Emily

I seldom ignore such a straight-forward call, especially from one who has never urged me so, well, urgently, before.

It is our first snow of winter, at first landing like a dusting of powdered sugar over brownies. It soon became a wilder sugary dumping tossed hither and yon. You have seen the likes of such brownies, which goes to prove some good parent relinquished control of the sugar dusting to an eager youthful helper.

I wanted to share the snowy afternoon with Mary Oliver, like Emily, but since that wasn’t going to happen, I bundled up, took my camera, and walked around for awhile.

And then, later, I re-read some of Oliver’s poetry from Red Bird and returned again to, There is a Place Beyond Ambition. Tomorrow I will bundle up, and go lay down by the creek. To listen.

There is a Place Beyond Ambition

When the flute players
couldn’t think of what to say next

they laid down their pipes,
then they lay down themselves
beside the river

and just listened.
Some of them, after a while,
jumped up
and disappeared back inside the busy town.
But the rest–
so quiet, not even thoughtful–
are still there,

still listening.

The Giant Maple in Winter

The Giant Maple in Winter

The Bridge

The Bridge

Leeks in Winter

Leeks in Winter

The Gazebo and Ferns

The Gazebo and Ferns

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