Have I Dared To Pray?

Every morning
the world
is created. 
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches —
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies. 
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere. 
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead —
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging —

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted —

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning, 

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy, 
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

Morning Poem, by Mary Oliver

Have I dared? ©FrogDiva Photography

Of late, I have been exploring and discovering the work of contemporary poet Mary Oliver with great joy. I share yet another nugget of her treasures with you today, as we all begin a new week, full of expectations, continued burdens and responsibilities, and for me, constant prayer.

Have I dared to pray?
Have I dared to seek the answers to my prayers?
Absolutely, albeit with trepidation, uncertain of the outcome.
Have I accepted the answers to my prayers?
Ah, you see, that is where I still struggle – to recognise and accept the answers. In some cases it takes me a little longer to figure things out, until I finally let go of the stubborn notion of my own insisted outcome.

This morning I feel as though I am at the verge of an abyss, which is not a bad thing, mind you. The notion of an abyss has developed negatively over the years, so much so that few will stop to think that an abyss can be a good thing as well, a place to lose yourself during the fall and rediscover your soul before you land. This is the magic of a transformation that requires surrender to the forces of nature, and detachment from the pettiness of society.

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