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Lent, Day 16

Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets.  Here is a beautiful poem she wrote.

I happened to be standing, by Mary Oliver

 I don't know where prayers go,     
 or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep     
 half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it     
 crosses the street? The sunflowers?
The old black oak     
 growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,      
along the shore or under the trees, with my mind filled with things      
of little importance, in full
 self-attendance. A condition I can't really      
call being alive.
 Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,     
 or does it matter? The sunflowers blaze, maybe that's their way.
 Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not. 

While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
 which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don't know why.  And yet, why not.
 I wouldn't persuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don't. That's your business.
 But I thought, of the wren's singing, what could this be     
 if it isn't a prayer? So I just listened, my pen in the air.

Posted by Laurie Weicher at 6:00 AM
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