“I get up. It’s lighter.”

November 29, 2021 @ 10:10 am | Filed under: , ,

A poem by Olav Hauge: One Poem a Day

This is the poem that carried me through this year, more than any other. “One Poem a Day” by Olav Hauge, from his lovely book The Dream We Carry. Those last lines especially—

I get up. It’s lighter.
Have good intentions.
And see the bullfinch rise from the cherry tree,
stealing buds. 

There have been so many days during the pandemic (and before) when I’ve walked around thinking: Have good intentions. Look for the bullfinch, the buds.

In her wonderful book Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life, Twyla Tharp urges us to “make sharing delight into a daily occurrence,” or, as she puts it a few pages later, to find “the Daily Miracle. Find something that pleases you greatly first thing every morning when your mind is fresh.”

Mary Oliver puts it like this:

Every day
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.

(From “Mindful” in Why I Wake Early)

What, for you, is the bullfinch rising from the cherry tree, stealing buds, today? Your ‘daily miracle’ for this last day of November? What little thing, ordinary or extraordinary, has more or less killed you with delight?

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7 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Katie @ The Cozy Burrow says:

    I read that Mary Oliver collection earlier this year and that poem stopped me dead in my tracks. “something that more or less kills me with delight” is such a striking thought!

    Killing me with delight now: my reluctant reader who is not-so-reluctantly picking up books left and right; the return of bright red cardinals in our now brown trees; my morning cup of coffee while catching up with blogging friends.

  2. Kortney says:

    I copied out the Hauge poem, and it was on my desk. The 12 year old is just about to finish NaNoWriMo and was stealing a few minutes of writing before dinner. He came to the table with the poem and wide eyes. He especially loved the bushy eyebrows!

  3. Melissa Wiley says:

    Cardinals! I love our West Coast birds but miss my little red friends who used to frequent the feeder in our Virginia days.

  4. Melissa Wiley says:

    Oh Kortney, this gives me such a smile! And kudos to your kiddo on finishing NaNoWriMo!!

  5. Melanie B says:

    We are still homeless after two months of being nomads, but this week we are lucky to be in a rental house in Hull. All our stuff is packed away in a pod, but my kids desperately wanted to have an Advent wreath. So yesterday I bought four plain white candles at the local store and today Sophie and I gathered sprigs of yew from the bushes under the window and streamers of bladderwrack and random seashells on the beach and we constructed a beautiful beach-themed wreath. We lit a candle and sang O Come O Come Emmanuel and it was just perfect.

  6. Liz Overcash says:

    The last day of November brought with it a drive to the ranch to see my daughter train and ride Ellie a horse who is lovely and stubborn at times. My daughter’s grandfather watched her ride for the first time in person and a smile never left his face.

  7. Carla Crosby says:

    So many delightful sparks during my days as of late! As I work from home now (a delicious delight in itself!) I love watching for my the cardinals at the feeder Michael put up at my window. Last week I looked up during my yoga practice in my sunroom, and three little greeted me. My sunroom is a replica of Mama’s and is my morning sanctuary. Several weeks ago I released about 10 monarchs— I felt like a butterfly midwife!