When Mary Oliver wrote this lovely poem, she was 60-plus. This year she is turning 83. But given what she’s been writing of late, I’m pretty sure she still has days when she feels she has wings.
I’m reminded of G.K. Chesterton’s oft-quoted saying:
“Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.”
On days when I feel like the archetypal Grumpy Old Man, I try to remember to flap my arms and say, “Lighten up, pal!”
Arm-flapping and talking to myself in the middle of a mall often draw alarmed glances my way. But, hey, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!
This poem is from Mary Oliver’s collection, Evidence.
by Mary Oliver
Everyone should be born into this world happy
and loving everything.
But in truth it rarely works that way.
For myself, I have spent my life clamoring toward it.
Halleluiah, anyway I’m not where I started!