After 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
In the pinewoods
In the moments between
And first light
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
– from Thirst, poems by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press, 2006)