Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Sometimes, as everyone does
at one time or another,
I feel a little lost.

I feel like a very tiny thing in a BIG world.

The magic of the ocean is that I feel that way too
when I am in it's presence; but it's a humbling,
somewhat peaceful thing, to feel that way
and look out and the rolling waves and smell the salty air.

I guess I am feeling a little melancholy.

But isn't the sea the best place for that--to wash the mind clean
with its soothing nature? Isn't that the very purpose for the stretches
of wide beach sand in front of the water--to lose oneself,
letting your mind open and then release all those
little things...the flotsam and jetsam that roils around in one's brain?

In moments like that, the sea heals me.

What do you find appealing or magical about the sea?

(A poem by Mary Oliver)



Understand, I am always trying to figure out
what the soul is,
and where hidden,
and what shape –

and so, last week,
when I found on the beach
the ear bone
of a pilot whale that may have died

hundreds of years ago, I thought
maybe I was close
to discovering something –
for the ear bone


is the portion that lasts longest
in any of us, man or whale; shaped
like a squat spoon
with a pink scoop where

once, in the lively swimmer’s head,
it joined its two sisters
in the house of hearing,
it was only

two inches long –
and thought: the soul
might be like this –
so hard, so necessary –


yet almost nothing.
Beside me
the gray sea
was opening and shutting its wave-doors,

unfolding over and over
its time-ridiculing roar;
I looked but I couldn’t see anything
through its dark-knit glare;

yet don’t we all know, the golden sand
is there at the bottom,
though our eyes have never seen it,
nor can our hands ever catch it


lest we would sift it down
into fractions, and facts –
certainties –
and what the soul is, also

I believe I will never quite know.
Though I play at the edges of knowing,
truly I know
our part is not knowing,

but looking, and touching, and loving,
which is the way I walked on,
through the pale-pink morning light.

~ Mary Oliver ~

1 comment:

Braley Mama said...

The awesome-ness of God's creation, and the peace I have there!!!!