It is no small gift. . . . What would the world be without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be without dogs?
Does the hummingbird think he himself invented his
He is wiser than that, I think.
A dog lives fifteen years, if you’re lucky.
Do the cranes crying out in the high clouds
think it is all their own music?
A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own hourse
do not therefore own [him], as you do not own the rain, or the
trees, or the laws which pertain to them.
And it is exceedingly short, his galloping life. Dogs die too soon. . . . We would do anything to keep them with us, and to keep them young. The one gift we cannot give.
Where goes he now, that little dark dog
who used to come down the road barking and shining?
He’s gone now, from the world of particulars,
the singular, the visible.
So, that deepest sting: sorrow. Still,
is he gone from us entirely, or is he
a part of that other world, everywhere?
Come with me into the woods where the spring is
advancing, as it does, no matter what,
not being singular or particular ,but one
of the forever gifts, and certainly visible.
See how the violets are opening, and the leaves
unfolding, the streams gleaming and the birds
singing. What does it make you think of?
His shining curls, his honest eyes, his
–from Mary Oliver, Dog Songs