Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Polished Little Circles on the Sky

Malheur Before Dawn

An owl sound wandered along the road with me.

I didn’t hear it—I breathed it into my ears.

Little ones at first, the stars retired, leaving

polished little circles on the sky for awhile.

Then the sun began to shout from below the horizon.

Throngs of birds campaigned, their music a tent of sound.

From across the pond, out of the mist,

one drake made a V and said its name.

Some vast animal of air began to rouse

from the reeds and lean outward.

Frogs discovered their national anthem again.

I didn’t know a ditch could hold so much joy.

So magic a time it was that I was both brave and afraid.

Some day like this might save the world.

--William Stafford

This is one of my very favorite Stafford poems.  I thought of it when I saw the gorgeous sunrise this morning:

I love to take pictures at this spot on my commute.  There is a stop sign there because the road goes down to one lane, due to some structural problem with the other.  I used to blow through that stop sign if no one was coming the other way, but since I was scolded by a policeman, I stop!  Which, really, is a gift.  If no one's behind me, I often take a picture;  looking through the black winter trees,  over the pond,  toward the sunrise and the mountains is spectacular! 

I am learning that it's important to obey the stop signs in life, whether literal or otherwise.  Take a minute, pause, not everything has to get done NOW!  Slow down and enjoy what's in front of you. 

Someday like this might save the world.

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