The Finest Gifts Are Intangible
I love the way Mary Oliver’s “The Gift” expands my imagination about how much there is to be grateful for, and about how I might express my gratitude.
by Mary Oliver
I wanted to thank the mockingbird for the vigor of his song.
Every day he sang from the rim of the field, while I picked
blueberries or just idled in the sun.
(Excerpted from House of Light. Read the full poem here.)
“I wanted to thank the mockingbird for the vigor of his song,” says the poet. So she played him some music by Mahler…and the mockingbird played some of it back to her. How beautiful is that?!
Oliver reminds me that the finest gifts are not “things,” but intangible offerings of the mind, heart, and spirit. Gifts like these may seem as fleeting as music — but like music they continue to resonate long after they are gone.
As I think about people who’ve lifted my life, what’s my equivalent of playing them a little Mahler? How can I give the same kind of gift to people whose lives need lifting?
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