“Roses, Late Summer”

If I had another life I would want to spend it all on some unstinting happiness.

I would be a fox, or a tree full of waving branches. I wouldn’t mind being a rose in a field full of roses.

Fear has not yet occurred to them, nor ambition. Reason they have not yet thought of. Neither do they ask how long they must be roses, and then what. Or any other foolish question.

-Mary Oliver, excerpted from “Roses, Late Summer”



I admire Mary Oliver’s poetry.  These lines, as do so many of hers, tug at my heart with an “oh, yes.”

I read between her lines that for me are describing the desire to be rid of the prickling, thorny, uncomfortable, and sometimes unnecessary things on which we spend ourselves. Oliver chooses a fox, a rose, and a tree – all created by God and lovely, although we are never told those things were created in God’s image.  Only man, with all his questions and fears, is said to be made like Him and for being with Him, not just His creation.  Only we have reason and relationship.  I revel in this life in relationship with my Creator and the family He has given me. I know who answers my foolish questions and calms my fears. I am practicing happiness as I celebrate this moment.  I think Mary Oliver likes what lies between her lines when I read them.

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