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Softest of Mornings

green grass / Softest of Mornings

Softest of Mornings

By Mary Oliver

Softest of mornings, hello.
And what will you do today, I wonder,
to my heart?
And how much honey can the heart stand, I wonder,
before it must break?

This is trivial, or nothing: a snail
climbing a trellis of leaves
and the blue trumpets of flowers.

No doubt clocks are ticking loudly
all over the world.
I don’t hear them. The snail’s pale horns
extend and wave this way and that
as her fingers-body shuffles forward, leaving behind
the silvery path of her slime.

Oh, softest of mornings, how shall I break this?
How shall I move away from the snail, and the flowers?
How shall I go on, with my introspective and ambitious life?


These past several mornings I’ve been enjoying Mary Oliver’s* encouragement to bring attentiveness and thoughtfulness to the natural energy and drive of spring. What happens when we make space to greet the day or recognize the moment before us? Rather than plowing straight into a daily schedule or familiar routine, what is it like to first feel with our heart what t is important and present?

In appreciation,


Save the Dates! Join us Wednesday mornings this summer for Awakening with Nature. These guided, nature meditations are a sweet way to say hello to the morning, and your heart. 7:30 – 8:15am PST, June 15th – August 10th, 2022. No prior experience needed; all warmly welcome. Head to Classes for my full teaching schedule.

* You can find this poem, along with more Mary Oliver writings in the lovely book, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings. You may also enjoy Oliver’s book, A Thousand Mornings.

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