practice is what you can’t imagine


by Mary Oliver

For example, what the trees do
not only in lightning storms
or the watery dark of a summer’s night
or under the white nets of winter
but now, and now, and now – whenever
we’re not looking. Surely you can’t imagine
they don’t dance, from the root up, wishing
to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting
a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly
more shade – surely you can’t imagine they just
stand there loving every
minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings
of the years slowly and without a sound
thickening, and nothing different unless the wind,
and then only in its own mood, comes
to visit — surely you can’t imagine
patience, and happiness, like that.

from Long Life: Essays and other writings

5 thoughts on “practice is what you can’t imagine

  1. Such lovely innocence – touching this Heart… As a child I wanted to know such things, as what a tree does when no one is watching; do they talk to each other 🙂 And, where the water flowing through the street gutters goes… Seems that at least part of “the practice” is to recover that curious wonder, the heart of innocence about life again; seeing the *aliveness* of Life in everything around us…

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Trees are the best species on the planet, I feel……….& they teach us so much! PATIENCE is definitely one of their gifts to us:)

  3. ZDS: solid, grounded, deeply rooted.

    Christine: Oh that lively inquiring mind. It takes us into such beautiful places!

    MindMindful: Trees give us so much. Life itself. I had never thought of it as patience but it is, isn’t it? Enjoying your presence here. _(|)_

  4. i’ve always hugged trees when i felt in need of grounding. I also recall the times i would hear their screams when they were beeing cut down 😦

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