Hummingbirds and Whales

“Listen, whatever you see and love—
that’s where you are.”
― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

i watch her from the kitchen window
her wings flash rapid bold colors then stop abruptly
as she perches and drinks.
she is well fed, in her winter weight.

we head to the dog park one day. Baker is eager, and a bit timid
as he bravely makes new friends.
a fight breaks out between two big dogs and he gets caught
in the middle. fir flies as he quickly finds comfort between our legs.
people in the park laugh it off as my mama
heart pounds. after things settle he is ready to head back to the car.
he curls up inside his kennel, safe
and content and i sneak peeks into the back seat
to check on him as he sleeps, on the drive home.

i head back to her island one day for art and wine.
on route i stand with all the other passengers
and watch as a pod of Orca whales make their way across the ice cold water
in front of the ferry. last crossing i came across
David Whyte, looping the boat. it seems ferries are magical.

i listen to several interviews with Mary Oliver,
trying to understand what made her who she was.
maybe in some way hoping bits and pieces of her way with words,
her mindfulness and beauty might rub off on me.
i re-read old essays and promise to pay more attention,
with more feeling, and not just document my life as if i am producing
a field guide.

i have carpal tunnel surgery on my other hand.

while i recover that first day, he snuggles up next to me, licks my face and hogs the bed . . .

i am beyond blessed.


He puts his cheek against mine
and makes small, expressive sounds.
And when I’m awake, or awake enough

he turns upside down, his four paws
in the air
and his eyes dark and fervent.

“Tell me you love me,” he says.

“Tell me again.”

Could there be a sweeter arrangement? Over and over
he gets to ask.
I get to tell.

have a mindful week. . .

Mary Oliver

“Because of the dog's joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?”
― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

i feel the news of her death deep within my body; grief stuck,
i morn. there is rarely a day that goes by
that i don’t read her words, for in beautiful,
simple language she has taught me to pay attention.
she has cultivated within me
a magnitude of love for the natural world
( and the dogs that live within it).
she has helped me understand that deep
spirituality for me, is best found on a walk,
or by the sea shore, and if we ask questions,
and are genuinely curious, we will find answers.

“When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.”
― Mary Oliver
{rest in peace}

have a lovely weekend,

the marsh

“Ours is an upbeat, a hurried, hasty beat. It keeps pressing us to go farther, to include everything so that we can savor everything, so that we can know everything, so that we will miss nothing. Partly it's greed, but mainly its curiosity. We just want to experience it. And we do.”
― Agnes De Mille

we gather to celebrate her birthday in the marsh. she brings us together; eight
of her friends, from all corners of her life. i feel honored to be invited, curious and
available to what the weekend my bring . . .

i marvel at her generous heart, and how
she is able, and so willing to hold space for us to all . . .

i am unable to put it all into words, wishing to hold much of it
close-in and private. i turn inward towards my camera with walks when i need to, and open myself up,
over and over and over again; reaping an abundance of goodness from the woman she has
brought together. i learn to compost the past, and bring forth fresh nourishing soil to plant new seeds in.
seeds of my liking . . .

“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking”
― Agnes De Mille

have a beautiful week . . .
xoxo, cathy