On Sundays I try to share a few lines of poetry that caught my attention. I’m new to the world of poetry and these Sunday posts ensure I read a few poems every week. Here’s one I encountered in a book of Mary Oliver essays this week:

Softest of Mornings

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 its 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 finger-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?

Long Life, Mary Oliver


Snails, in general, have been a great interest for me after reading The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. Mary’s careful observation of the snail climbing the flowers makes me smile and takes me back to that book.

I feel a tremendous connection with Oliver’s devotion to the early morning hours. In this collection of essays, she often writes about the benefit of rising early to ensure the time to connect to the world around her. Learning to wake early has, without a doubt, changed my life and I find great satisfaction when reading about others who do the same!


I hope you find some time to read a good book before the week begins. I hope to be back tomorrow with a look into my notebook – see you then!

3 thoughts

  1. I enjoy my early morning, browsing blogs, sipping my morning coffee. I enjoy listening to the songs of the birds, slowly increasing in volume as various birds join in as the sky slowly turns color and wakes up. Have a peaceful day!

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  2. I am still not really a morning person, even after several decades of waking early, but I do love the quiet of a morning when I’m up before everyone else and before the world around me starts to wake. I remember on Christmas this past year, the first one we’d been home for since my daughter was a baby, I got up early to prep our special breakfast. It was quiet and snowing and just so peaceful and beautiful — so worth the early wakeup!

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  3. I have been a morning person my whole life and I feel like Mary Oliver is a kindred spirit. (as are you!)

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