Prose: ‘Wordsworth’s Mountain’ by Mary Oliver

First rays of the day. Heavy snow and freezing rain create a frozen moment in Chester, New Jersey. Photo: Michael Yamashita, February 2021.

There is a rumor of total welcome among the frosts of the winter morning. The field I am looking at its perhaps twenty acres altogether, long and broad. The sun has not yet risen, but is sending its first showers over the mountains, a kind of rehearsal, a slant light with even a golden cast. The light touches every blade of frozen grass. The still-upright weeds have become wands, encased in a temporary shirt of ice and light. Neither does this first light miss the small pond, or the groups of pine trees.

And now, enough of silver, behold the pink, even a vague, unsurpassable flush of pale green. It is the performance of his hour only, the dawning of the day, fresh and ever new. This is to say nothing against afternoons, evenings, or even midnight. Each has its portion of the spectacular. But dawn – dawn is a gift.

The heart-warming words of the beloved ‘poet of the woods’, Mary Oliver (1935 – 2019. Extracted from her 2016 book of essays, Upstream.

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