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Reading Mary Oliver (with my dog)

“Listen, whatever you see and love—
that’s where you are.” 

Mary Oliver, Dog Songs: Poems

For the past few days, Mary Oliver’s poems have been my gift to myself each morning. With my coffee. Early, before everyone else gets up. Well, everyone except Delilah, who is up at soon as she hears me reach for the coffee pot.

The moment I pick up Devotions and settle in, Delilah climbs in my lap and rests her head on my arm. Which makes it almost impossible to read. Or drink coffee.

But one poem about God, “all that glorious, temporary stuff” (that’s us; we are the temporary stuff), or the perfection of a bluebird’s gratitude for morning skies, and I’ll let Delilah do whatever her heart desires. Which is clearly to sit in my lap, gazing loving up into my eyes as I read the book (over her head), sip my coffee (head turned to the side), and generally navigate around the 50 pound dog sitting on me.

These early mornings are bittersweet. They are when I most remember that I don’t get to have Delilah forever. In my heart, yes. But not always here with me. So I let her linger, in my way, in the center of my world.

Being right where I am.

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