The Essence of Country





The Summer Day

Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?



I went to an eloping party at my neighbors last night. I love seeing love. I am uplifted by love. I left my house with a tote full of goodies and a mason jar filled with wildflowers for the bride. I walked the few miles up the hill to the top of Wildcat Ridge to be greeted by beloved friends I have known for years. Every time my husband leaves on a fire and I think I might be a little lonely in his absence, I simply remember how lucky I am to live in this valley of love and friendship.

As I strolled home-ward in the early evening, I could not help but stop and take quite a few photos of my beautiful surroundings. I hope summer is treating you well buttercups, because it is for me.




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