“Who made the world?” In one of her famous poems, “The Summer Day,” Mary Oliver asks this question. Like a young child’s voice asking her parents “Who made the world?” or “Where did I come from?” or “How did I get here?” The young, if allowed, ask those existential questions. And like this and many other poets, Oliver follows the thread of her thoughts and goes from the broad to the specific.
The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
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?
I want to know
WHO MADE THE PINEAPPLE?
I mean this pineapple
the one delivered with my food order
this past week?
Who designed the layered, tufted top
the prickly, hexagon designs
outlined in yellow-green?
Who conscribed it to be juicy sweet
Who made the pineapple?
Can you find something to be amazed by today? Something that causes you to stop in your tracks and really see and admire it? One definition of admire is “to regard with wonder, pleasure or approval.” If I took the time, I’m guessing that throughout the day, there would be many things that I could admire. I could dwell in amazement.