Time to savour the familiar

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I don’t know if it’s the pandemic or just aging, but I find my sense of time shifting. No longer are my eyes fixed firmly on the future. Things that used to preoccupy me—goals, plans, even a sense of purpose—have faded away.

It’s as if my eyes have swung away from the horizon and dropped to the ground. More and more, the small, the ordinary, the familiar everyday moment captures my attention: jays falling like blue rain from tree branches to scoop up sunflower seeds strewn about; wild turkeys lurching ponderously through steep snow; the soup bowl filled with fragrant pieces of orange yam, red tomatoes and green beans.

I don’t pretend to have achieved some enlightened state of presence. I still check my calendar, and make my weekly to-do list. I still worry about the planet. I still dream of walking through Scotland one day.

But I bustle less. I stare out the window more. As the arc of my life curves towards its inevitable and unknown end, I’m happily (even greedily) savouring the world’s delights, so abundantly and freely given.

I like the quiet sense of wonder in this poem, part of a favourite anthology titled Poetry of Presence.

Feather at Midday

If I had not stopped to watch
a feather flying by,
I would not have seen its landing—
a tiny pure white feather.

Gently, I blew a soft breath
to send it back to the spring.

If I had not looked up to watch
the feather gliding over the roof,
I would not have seen
the crescent moon
hanging at midday.

~ Sister Dang Nghiem

Image courtesy Dmitrii Bardadim from Pixabay



  1. Janice

    February 1, 2021

    Dear Mary Lou, I love how you share with us your ‘savouring of the world’s delights’, this tender musing on
    aging and slowing down that speaks to me. And what a perfect poem to accompany us. May you find feathers wherever you go. love Jan

  2. nicole langis

    February 2, 2021

    Beautifully written Mary Lou. I hear your voice narrating your journal. As always you continue to inspire. Thank you for reminding me to be xx

    • Mary Lou van Schaik

      February 3, 2021

      Dear Nicole: Thank you for stopping by! It’s so good to hear from you. xoxo

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