Monday Mornings + Mary Oliver

reading a book in sunset

Musings from this spring.

Sage and peonies, Monday mornings are yours. The bakery doors locked, the Insta-mommies running errands and too busy to post. An alarm that finally doesn’t need setting.

You trim flowers in the sink as their stems splay out across old cereal bowls and semi-rinsed recycling. The local news hums quietly in the background, counting numbers you don’t want to hear. The sun and the skyline beyond it, just bright enough to make your remember the sourdough you are burning from a bakery you feel is your own. Your home. Looking out this window from a birdie perch you chose. Sliding around in overly fluffy slippers and toggling between company Instagram accounts.

Are you really “doing it?” Hard to say. The boxes are all checked, but with eraser marks graying them. It stuns you how even the littlest things can sway you–reanalyzing your priorities. It feels like constant floating of an air hockey puck, your ideas about the world, yourself, purpose, getting knocked from one plastic baseboard to another.

You hear a writer talking about how she never edits her (Pulitzer prize-winning) work. You then read that same sentiment mocked in a book written by another famous author she worked with. Success stories, career-building podcasts, and interviews with your idols paralyze you with inspiration. You read and read and read to get it right.

And you’d read more, if only you didn’t sleep so much. You’d sleep more too, if only you didn’t work so much. You wouldn’t take on as many hours if you weren’t a poor grad student. And the dialogue goes on.

But Monday mornings will always be yours. The day they all dread with grogginess and to-do lists is for taking, wasting, and floating through.

Photo thanks to Unsplash.

Open the windows to the birds chorus, slowly synchronizing their song for another season. Tilt your head just so on the glass, angled so the sun will stun you into an accidental meditation.

So arresting, it is, this unfamiliar direct sunlight. Your mind races to which plant will withstand the strong Eastern sun and gusts of fifth floor wind. But for now, there is creamy coffee to be sipped and emails to ignore with a poetry collection.

“Nothing in this world is certain besides death and taxes…” or something like that.

We are here for more stun-you-into-appreciation moments. More walks around sleepy uptown streets on a hydrangea-filled summer evening. We are here for mosquito bites at dusk and watching light move through leaves. Walks without purpose and hours devoted to anything but productivity. For deep breaths and bear hugs, not refreshing a feed that never feeds us.

In the afternoon, I’ll come back to my body. Being gently reset with each yoga pose. The peppy blonde at the front of the studio making my muscles ache enough that I truly cannot think of anything else.

Thinking again of Mary Oliver this morning writing, “Love yourself. Then forget. Then love the world.”

It is so, so not about us and our daily problems. The quick half-formed thoughts we get from scrolling through an algorithmic addiction.

Oliver, in her “bible of spring” (seriously–read Evidence as the world blooms), gives a relaxed perspective of old age that I look forward to having one day. I’m still on the first part. The “love yourself.”

But for now, I’ve got an entire morning to waste. And time to slow down will not be taken lightly.



2 responses to “Monday Mornings + Mary Oliver”

  1. So you and so beautiful.


  2. Emma you are awesome. Keep doing this.


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