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fawnAfter I related the story of Libby and the fawn, the small moment shared in last week’s post, my coworker Katie brought me a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winner Mary Oliver that describes a similar incident. As Oliver notes, Such gifts, bestowed, can’t be repeated.

Libby’s maternal grandparents live in a house near the corner that, like Oliver’s, bears a name.

Perhaps we will rename it Gratitude.

The Place I Want To Get Back To

Is where

In the pinewoods

In the moments between

The darkness

 

And first light

Two deer

Came walking down the hill

And when they saw me

They said to each other, okay,

This one is okay,

Let’s see who she is

And why she is sitting

On the ground, like that,

So quiet, as if

Asleep, or in a dream,

But anyway, harmless;

And so they came

On their slender legs

And gazed upon me

Not unlike the way

I go to the dunes and look

And look and look

Into the faces of the flowers

And then one of them leaned forward

And nuzzled my hand, and what can my life

Bring to me that could exceed

That brief moment?

For twenty years

I have gone every day to the same woods,

Not waiting, exactly, just lingering.

Such gifts bestowed, can’t be repeated.

If you want to talk about this

                Come to visit. I live in the house

                                Near the corner, which I have named

                                                  Gratitude.

– from Thirst, poems by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press, 2006)