In the morning the blue heron is busy
stepping, slowly, around the edge of the
pond. He is tall and shining. His wings, folded
against his body, fit so neatly they
make of him, when he lifts his shoulders and begins to rise
into the air, a great surprise. Also
he carries so light the terrible sword-beak.
Then he is gone over the trees.
I am so happy to be alive in this world
I would like to live forever, but I am
content not to. Seeing what I have seen
has filled me; believing what I believe
has filled me.
The first words of this page are
hardly thought of when the bird
circles back over the trees; it floats down
like an armful of blue flowers, a bundle of light
coming to refresh itself again in the black water, and I think:
maybe it is or it isn’t the same bird-maybe it’s
the first one’s child, or the child of its child.
What I mean is, our deliverance from Time
and the continuance, if we only steward them well,
of earthly things. So maybe it’s myself still standing here, or
someone else, like myself hot with the joy of this world, and
filled with praise.
~Circles, a poem by Mary Oliver
Remember to extol His work, which people have praised in song. ~Job 36:24 ✝
A wheel was shown to me,
wonderful to behold.
Divinity . . . is like a wheel,
a circle, a whole,
that can neither be understood,
nor divided, nor begun nor ended . . .
no one has the power to divide
this circle, to surpass it, or to limit it.
~St. Hildegard of Bingen
beginnings, middles, endings,
so go the circles of life here
and over and over again
the sacred circles repeat themselves
with more beginnings,
and yet little seems the same from
day to day, month to month, year to year,
in these patterns of inconstancy
within the undeniable constancy
that create our “wow” now moments
as well as the not so “wow” ones
so what’s to be made of all the same
and not so same circular sameness
or the ups and downs and all around times
in the beginnings, middles, and endings
only the Ancient of Days knows why
these everlasting holy rhythms
of the universe move in such a way
It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. ~Deuteronomy 11:12 ✝
a daring adventure
or nothing at all.
Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens, becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts,
that can rise and spin over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us…
~Excerpt from a poem by Mary Oliver
As starlings gather in the evenings to roost, often they will participate in what is called a murmuration — a huge flock that shape-shifts in the sky as if it were one swirling liquid mass. Often the behavior is sparked by the presence of a predator like a hawk or peregrine falcon, and the flock’s movement is based on evasive maneuvers. There is safety in numbers, so the individual starlings do not scatter, but rather are able to move as an intelligent cloud, feinting away from a diving raptor, thousands of birds changing direction almost simultaneously.
*I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw. ~Proverbs 24:32 ✝