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"Long Afternoon at the Edge of Sister Pond", by Mary Oliver

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

I spent some time taking photos of our friend the hummingbird, the one that we often see near the terrace. Watching his behavior is fascinating, I have so much to learn from the creatures of this earth! ("Everyday I come into the world to be dazzled, then to be reflective...")

Here is another Mary Oliver poem, a sweet pretext to share the photos I took today. I was not familiar with this one, it seems that the hummingbird brought it to me.

Long Afternoon at the Edge of Sister Pond

As for life, I’m humbled, I’m without words sufficient to say

how it has been hard as flint, and soft as a spring pond, both of these and over and over,

and long pale afternoons besides, and so many mysteries beautiful as eggs in a nest, still unhatched

though warm and watched over by something I have never seen – a tree angel, perhaps, or a ghost of holiness.

Every day I walk out into the world to be dazzled, then to be reflective. It suffices, it is all comfort – along with human love,

dog love, water love, little-serpent love, sunburst love, or love for that smallest of birds flying among the scarlet flowers. There is hardly time to think about

stopping, and lying down at last to the long afterlife, to the tenderness yet to come, when time will brim over the singular pond, and become forever,

and we will pretend to melt away into the leaves. As for death, I can’t wait to be the hummingbird, can you?

~ Mary Oliver ~

Belmont, California

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