The Invitation (Mary Oliver)

Someone sent me this poem this morning while I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by Coronavirus news and “worse-case scenario” thinking! It gave me a lift and a sense of hope – perhaps it will help you too?

Image result for british goldfinches on thistle

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 melodiously
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.

About Mary Kirk

Parish Pastoral Worker in the Archdiocese of Dublin since 2010. Former civil servant for many years before that! One son and two cats!
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2 Responses to The Invitation (Mary Oliver)

  1. Margaret Hearns says:

    Delighted to discover your blog this morning Mary. You are doing great work. So nice to feel connected. Blessings, Margaret

    • Mary Kirk says:

      O Margaret delighted that you did. Let me know if there is anything in particular you would like to see more of – prayer, scripture. videos, music, picture, knitting patterns etc..

      Hope you are all keeping safe and well,


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