July - 107.07.20

It’s cold and rainy this morning and the winds are blowing in a passing low pressure system, but that’s all right.  We’ve had a string of gorgeous warm days with endless blue skies and sunshine, arriving just in time for the 4th of July, as is the tradition.  We toured the lake on the motor boat, sailed, sat by the water in the bright sunlight with our books, and ate late meals on the terrace under the red umbrella.  Don put the badminton net up across the yard.  It felt like happiness again.

We had thunder and lightning in the wee hours this morning that lasted to daybreak.  It’s always an otherworldly experience to sense there are flashes of light behind closed eyelids, and feel the vibration of thunder, and wonder what has bolted you out of deep sleep.  In this ‘broken world’ we live in, I was frightened, imagining that I would succumb to COVID-19, and I made lists in my head of all the things I need to get in order at my house.  By counting the seconds between flashes of lightning and booms of thunder, I finally fell back into sleep at some point.  Lying in bed at dawn, it felt particularly hard to get up, get moving.  In my version of the emotional roller coaster of our time, mornings these days are always the low point for me.  I’m a great sleeper and love the adventures of night-time dreaming and watching the stars out my window, moving in and out of consciousness.  It is so effortless, but then you wake up, and must get on with it.  You must find your way into the gift of another day, even if it wasn’t the day you were looking for.

Mary Oliver reminds us to see the new day as an invitation–“It is a serious thing/just to be alive/on this fresh morning/in the broken world.”  After having coffee and a walk in the rain, my plan for this day is to make one of my delicious soups for simmering on the stove, and go from there.

Invitation by Mary Oliver

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.




1 thought on ““Invitation”

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