Mindful (by Mary Oliver)

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 of 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?


Change me O God into one who searches for and sees delight everyday rather than dwelling upon my perceived and often made up troubles, terribleness or thanklessness.  All around me are things that can “kill” me with delight and help me to lose myself in wonder.  I think of this Spring – am I noticing the buds coming, the growing landscape of increasing green, the new and fresh green of young lives on a tree – a green that shimmers and looks so fresh and new and that only comes each spring?  And to just see and feel the grass – the green grass I have been longing to see all winter and here it is sprouting up everywhere becoming lush and thick and I fail to notice?  May my prayers be made out of grass – may I see the extraordinary in the ordinary and know it’s all extraordinary – all the wonders, I take for granted that surround me constantly and through which I can see your love pouring forth into the world and into my life.  May I instruct myself in joy rather than sorrow.  May I simply look, listen and lose myself in wonder, rather than my made up thoughts of misery.  May the beauty of the world around me remind me what is true.  O God, make me mindful as well in order to be well.