One of the things I absolutely love about living this moment to moment experience of life are all the serendipitous things which happen in my life. Many are daily and sometimes they are even hourly.
Friday, after I had created my blog post on remembering, I went back to work clearing out old emails from an account which have some old saved letters dating back to February 2007. I had saved them, at the time, because I wanted to evaluate them when time allowed, in the hopes that they could contain some treasures.
Lo and behold, I was discarding an email from February 10th, 2007 when I caught a glimpse of a poem at the bottom of the post. Since I had just been answering some comments on my Mary Oliver post of August 6th, it was a pleasant surprise that this old email contained an Oliver poem entitled, When Death Comes.
With a grin on my face, I want to share that writing here:
When Death Comes
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
– Mary Oliver, from New and Selected Poems
This writing fits so nicely with the post I wrote on the 6th, where I discussed how important it was to me to live my life in a way which I felt opened the possibility of creating a legacy. This poem could not be more appropriate for me.
I absolutely love the idea of being married to amazement; being married to life as a groom in a constant bridal dance with every hour of each day.
When I think about how important it is to me that I leave a legacy,
I find this egoistic ambition pales in comparison to my desire to live each day as a child of amazement.
It certainly amazes me that this email found me, Friday, but then I really do live most days tickled by the way Life shows up when I am an open and willing student.
Thank you to Jerry Katz for sharing this poem.
Thank you to Mary Oliver
for penning these beautiful thoughts.
Mostly, thank you to Love
which keeps my eyes open
to the serendipity
which awaits me at every turn.