Sitting here in the Pacific NW in mid-April, dark gray days with rain one day, snow the next. Sometimes wind and thunderstorms. Dumping of hail yesterday; it lingers still. I watch for nature’s population. Mary Oliver had a unique perspective on nature as can be seen in her poem, On Winter’s Margin.
I had another post underway for today, but our weather patterns in Oregon have been rather strange. Maybe they are mystifying where you live as well. One day last week we enjoyed a sunny day with a temperature of 75. Then our weather predictors began talking snow from the height of the mountains down to the valley floor where we live. My first paragraph above describes this week, so far. These conditions drew me to Oliver’s poem.
Now sit back and enjoy Mary Oliver’s poem. As always, Oliver fills her stanzas with an understanding of shadow and light both in nature and in human nature.
Featured Image Attribution: Photo by Valentin Hintikka on Unsplash
ON WINTER'S MARGIN by Mary Oliver On winter’s margin, see the small birds now With half-forged memories come flocking home To gardens famous for their charity. The green globe’s broken; vines like tangled veins Hang at the entrance to the silent wood. With half a loaf, I am the prince of crumbs; By snow’s down, the birds amassed will sing Like children for their sire to walk abroad! But what I love, is the gray stubborn hawk Who floats alone beyond the frozen vines; And what I dream of are the patient deer Who stand on legs like reeds and drink that wind; - They are what saves the world: who choose to grow Thin to a starting point beyond this squalor. ~~ From Famous Poets & Poems
The Well Rising
with care in such a world.
For a biography of William E. Stafford, please visit Poetry Foundation.
“The Well Rising” copyright 1960, 1998 the Estate of William Stafford. Reprinted from The Way It Is with the permission of Graywolf Press.
Just when you think the seasons have begun to change, you’re pulled up short by the weather forecast. You see we thought winter might not hit our area too hard this year. Temperatures were unusually warm for several days. Flowers are blooming early. Birds are singing and nest building. Sounds like spring, doesn’t it?
In fact, our white hellebores have been blooming for almost two months now. They are hardy plants and don’t seem to fear the weather. Continue reading
Recent weather reports from the nor’easters blasting the eastern coastline as well as the storms to the north of us in Washington state brought back memories. As I watched the news, I was taken back to the year 1951.
To a child’s delight, snow began to fall on January 28, 1951, as did a lot of ice in the form of freezing rain (to no adult’s delight). Winds blew taking down power poles. Roads were blocked by fallen trees. How little I knew about the wildness and harm of it all. Continue reading
The gray skies of winter have officially descended on the Pacific Northwest. With those skies come not only rain, sometimes snow, and occasional freezing rain, but also what I call the doldrums. Hard to wake in the mornings, unmotivated throughout the days, longing for sunlight. Continue reading