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These 3 Things


Today's THESE 3 THINGS are as part of Blackwater 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 me 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 go,

to let it go. 


What did you learn today?



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