Rewilding Connection

Linger with Us: "An Invitation" by Mary Oliver

April 26, 2023 from Climate Café
Rewilding Connection
Linger with Us: "An Invitation" by Mary Oliver
Show Notes

Happy poetry month! Happy spring! We are celebrating one of our most beloved and foundational poets, Mary Oliver. Her work has grounded our way of being in the world, where we strive to integrate her wisdom into projects with Rewilding Connection and Climate Café, in addition to the seemingly mundane parts of everyday life. Today we talk about Oliver's poem "An Invitation" from her 2008 book Red Bird: Poems. You can read along with us below!

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An Invitation
by Mary Oliver

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.