Mary Oliver Mondays: Thoughts on Coming Winter #Poetry #Winter #Darkness #MaryOliver

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In the midst of my series of Advent Tankas, I still wanted to share this Mary Oliver gem that I read a few weeks ago thanks to an email thread I receive at work. Though the snows have already arrived here in Grove City, it’s not until Wednesday that Winter officially begins. As we head into the shortest day of the year and fully enter Winter and all the seasonal depression and darkness that can so easily come with it as many are shut away in their homes for weeks on end, let Oliver’s exhortation to “go on, cheerfully enough” into these coming days give you hope and perseverance. For after Wednesday, the days only grow longer and, more importantly, we celebrate the Light come in the midst of the darkness…and the darkness cannot overcome it!

Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness by Mary Oliver

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don't say
it's easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

From Mary Oliver’s collection A Thousand Mornings – Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness


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