Sunday, December 31, 2023

Reflection/Looking Ahead

I came upon part of this Mary Oliver poem in the epigraph of a book I just started. I love the imagery and all the beautiful ideas that the words conjure up. It's not about the New Year but somehow it still conjures up that sense of reflection and looking ahead that I'm feeling. 

In Blackthorn Woods
by Mary Oliver
Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars
of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,
the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
to let it go.


I hope you are having an enjoyable New Year's Eve whatever you are doing. I'm knitting, reading, and beginning as I mean to go on. May the coming year bring you health, joy, contentment, and a renewed sense of purpose. Happy New Year!


  1. Happy New Year my friend! Mary Oliver always seems appropriate, doesn't she? Looking forward to getting together before too long!!

  2. Happy New Year!!! I am enjoying an empty house and SILENCE :)

  3. I hope the end of the year was peaceful and fulfilling for you, and I wish you a very happy, healthy 2024!

  4. Happy New Year, Bonny! Thank you for sharing that beautiful Mary Oliver Poem. Loving is often easy and letting go is hardest of all but they certainly go hand in hand.

  5. Happy New Year, Bonny! That poem is perfection! Thank you so much or sharing it! XO

  6. Oh, my....that gave me all the feels. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy New Year!

  7. This is my very favorite Mary Oliver poem (and that is saying a lot). I read it at my mom's memorial service . . . and it is one I repeat to myself every day. What a perfect poem to end a year/start a new year. Best wishes for a calm and peaceful new year, Bonny. XO

  8. Replies
    1. Thank you, Suzanne, and I wish you the same!

  9. Happy New Year. What a beautiful way to look into the coming year.

  10. Isn't it a happy sign to find a Mary Oliver snippet as an epigraph? and that one is lovely and perfect, especially for this time of year.


Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment! :-)