©2004 by Mary Oliver
The feet of the heron,
under those bamboo stems,
hold the blue body,
the great beak
above the shallows
of the pond.
Who could guess
Sometimes the toes
shake, like worms.
Or think of the cricket,
his green hooks
climbing the blade of grass –
or think of camel feet
like ear muffs,
striding over the sand –
or think of your own
slapping along the highway,
a long life,
To each of us comes
the body gift.
When Death Comes
©1991 by Mary Oliver
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
Coaching Inquiries: What have you made of your life? How have you made it significant and meaningful? When you think of the body, do you see the gift? Do you embrace it? How could you grow in the spirit of wonder and love?
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC
LifeTrek Coaching International
121 Will Scarlet Lane
Williamsburg, VA 23185-5043