Friday, July 29, 2011

This water-lily world

Every summer the lilies rise
and open their white hands until they almost
cover the black waters of the pond. And I give
thanks but it does not seem like adequate thanks,
it doesn't seem
festive enough or constant enough, nor does the
name of the Lord or the words of thanksgiving come
into it often enough. Everywhere I go I am
treated like royalty, which I am not. I thirst and
am given water. My eyes thirst and I am given
the white lilies on the black water. My heart
sings but the apparatus of singing doesn't convey
half what it feels and means. In spring there's hope,
in fall the exquisite, necessary diminishing, in
winter I am as sleepy as any beast in its
leafy cave, but in summer there is
everywhere the luminous sprawl of gifts,
the hospitality of the Lord and my
inadequate answers as I row my beautiful, temporary body
through this water-lily world.

-- Mary Oliver, excerpted from "Six Recognitions of the Lord"


Maureen said...

I like that defiant rose in your poem "A friendship rose".

Kathleen Overby said...

Taking a quick peek at Maureen's tweets this glad I saw yours Diane. Did you know for years I had never seen a real lily pad, and thought they were the stuff of frog fairy tales? They enchant me and captivate me completely.

Would you consider coming to Orcas for Kindlingsfest next year? You belong with us.

Louise Gallagher said...

Ah yes. This water lily world.

One of my favourite things to paint are ponds of waterlillies.

Your photo is perfect as is the poem.