Slice of Life March Challenge/Poetry Friday: March 28th., 2014 – Sophie & my OLW

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Poetry Friday  is hosted by  Mary Lee @   A Year of Reading   

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                                                 The March Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by  Two Writing Teachers  

I am back to Mary Oliver this Poetry Friday, because I want to pay homage to my Sophie.  Why? Because she makes me, always on the run with eighteen things to do right away, pause (my OLW, no pun intended).  On every walk we take, she makes sure I pause to notice what I would have missed if she had not been right there saying: “Hey, stop a second….lookee here…check this out…woah, what is that?…wait, wow!…oh, yum!….did you see that?…let’s go check that out, right now!”

Today, on our after school walk, for instance, Sophie made me pause to notice:

  • three crocuses just beginning to peek out from under a canopy of snow
  • a baby’s shoe – red – tucked under a pile of leaves
  • a Boston Cream donut, half eaten and soggy…but apparently delicious because it was eaten (by Sophie) in an instant
  • a bunny rabbit with one ear – watching cautiously as Sophie approached, and then, quick as lightening, leaping away
  • a beautiful green and gold bow – the crowing glory to someone’s Christmas wreath

Walking with Sophie after a day at school…what could be better?  She may drive me to distraction with her quest to  ensure that she “adored every blossom”… but, because of her, today I saw my first sign of Spring.

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by Mary Oliver

I had a dog
who loved flowers.
Briskly she went
through the fields,

yet paused
for the honeysuckle
or the rose,
her dark head

and her wet nose
the face
of every one

with its petals
of silk,
with its fragrance

into the air
where the bees,
their bodies
heavy with pollen,

and easily
she adored
every blossom,

not in the serious,
careful way
that we choose
this blossom or that blossom—

the way we praise or don’t praise—
the way we love
or don’t love—
but the way

we long to be—
that happy
in the heaven of earth—
that wild, that loving.


22 thoughts on “Slice of Life March Challenge/Poetry Friday: March 28th., 2014 – Sophie & my OLW

  1. Love, love, love Mary Oliver’s new book (so much that it’s two weeks overdue at the library and I can’t bear to take it back– may have to buy it). “Luke” is one of my favorite poems in the book, those last two stanzas are absolutely breathtaking. And you have captured walking with Sophie so perfectly. She must be related to my Star, who would have gladly arm wrestled her for that old doughnut!

  2. I had never thought that owning a dog would make you a better observer of the life around you. Interesting. Happy that the signs of spring are around you!

  3. I love this, Tara. I love Mary Oliver’s poem and how it is so applicable to your life with your Sophie. What a gift that she has given you–the gift of pausing. I wrote about pausing to notice while I draw yesterday. And I see that the noticing can be in anything from walking a dog, to drawing a line, to writing a word. Pause and noticing makes life richer–thanks for that reminder as I begin a full day.

  4. Wonderful that you connected Oliver’s poem to your Sophie. We had a Sophie too, our first dog together, a Dalmatian-takes me back to those dog-walking, never-know-what-one-might-see days, Tara. The book is wonderful isn’t it? Glad you shared one of them.

  5. Sophie is so cute!!! I love the power animals have to connect us to the world.Especially, dogs! On those walks, Sophie shows you the world through her eyes. That’s great! I want a dog. I am still trying to convince my husband. Maybe, I can share your post and see if this convinces him today.

  6. Sophie makes me smile! And yes, I think it is true that dog’s help you appreciate nature more because they get you out in nature more. Loved Mary Oliver’s poem as well. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I must check out this book. Love Mary Oliver. I am hoping that once the play is finished that I can take walks with Buster. My Sophie(a doxie) is 18 years old and not much fun to walk. Your Sophe looks very sweet.

  8. I love the list of places you paused. It so visually intriguing. Spring and Christmas represented. I have to share this with a friend who is writing about her dog tonight. So well done!

  9. Sophie is too cute. I have to tell you that I laughed out loud at your pause pun. I bet you didn’t think of that when you chose your word, but it makes your OLW that much more perfect for you. I think that Sophie is going to find a lot more signs of spring this week. I’m feeling it!

  10. Oh, how I miss walking with my dogs! I had a better sense of everything that was going on around me. Thanks for sharing your walk with Sophie and Mary Oliver’s poem!

  11. Mary Oliver nails it, as always. I love the look on Sophie’s face. We have cats, rabbits, and birds at my house — not sure if any of them make you pause the way a dog does!

  12. Oh the many things that a dog can teach us – the adoration, the boundless love for life and the world around us. Wish a dog could own me someday. Love these lines most of all:

    …the way

    we long to be—
    that happy
    in the heaven of earth—
    that wild, that loving.

    – there should be no other kind of loving. 🙂

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