A young friend, away at college near the boundary between the Midwest and Plains, misses the comforting terrain of the Mountain West. She longs for the Rocky Mountains as a western backdrop with a landscape of pleasing neutral shades of tans and ochre. She’s ready to come home for the summer.
I know how she feels, only I long for green … lush green grass and canopies of big trees with green leaves. Yes, there is green in Colorado, but not of the same verdancy as along the Eastern Seaboard, stretching into the Midwest.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Colorado. It’s a beautiful place by everyone’s criteria, especially the side pocket where I live. A new green carpet rolls out in late spring and early summer, intimating possibilities to feed a chlorophyll addiction. I don’t know what the summer holds for me, but I hope there’s an opportunity to enjoy the green, green grass of home.
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
c. 1992 Mary Oliver. From New and Selected Poems, 1992.