The First Rose
The First Rose

 You Held On During the Dark

Time embrace the sweetness!


by Mary Oliver

a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her—
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

I pull Mary Oliver’s Bear Poem out every year on the first day of Spring

every  year the bear comes down the mountain

claws sparking on the gravel

with her  questions  and her perfect love

and every year I know

I have pulled free of winter’s hold one more time.


Today is the first day of spring, or the vernal equinox, when the earth’s axis is aligned with the center of the sun. The word equinox comes from Latin: aequus means equal, level, or calm; nox means night, or darkness. The equinox, in spring or fall,is a time when the day and night are as close to equal as they ever are, and when the hours of night are exactly equal for people living equidistant from the equator either north or south.

Robert Frost wrote: ”

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;

And give us not to think so far away

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here

All simply in the springing of the year.”

The Writers Almanac

Nurturing Thursday

Frequent Contributors to Nurturing Thursday:

Laurie’s Notes
Inside the Mind of Isadora
Pocket Perspectives
Crowing Crone Joss
Meg Evans
Jacqueline King

22 thoughts

  1. It feels of Spring here…tulips peeking through…daffodils doing the same…green showing up here and there…and buds in the trees…
    Oh, yes…we have survived this long winter!…
    love the poem of the bear…I can just picture him ambling down the mountain…from his long rest!…great post!


  2. It “seems” like Spring may arrive ready to display her posies with a song — but I am not quite sure 100%, but I will enjoy what is offered until I know for sure! 😀 Thank you for linking this week. I appreciate YOU being YOU!!


  3. OOOhhh … I am all goose bumpy. I had thought about posting Mary Oliver. I changed my mind because someone had enjoyed a Tai Chi reference I had made recently. But, she was next. I love her poem. Thank you for posting.
    How can anyone not be inspired that SRING will be here soon with those words?
    Namaste ….


    1. I has something else in mind and then changed my mind to Mary Oliver…I must have heard your change. OOOOhhh! indeed!
      A mocking bird is in full song as I write I send his song to you in cold places 🙂


      1. Mary Oliver is channeling many and hoping someone hears her. ~~~~ : – )
        Thank you for the mocking bird song. xo
        I live in Florida so winter is never here. BUT … having been a former New Yorker I can sympathize for those who have been enduring many, many harsh cold days.
        Let’s hope SPRING reaches everyone who needs to see it real soon.
        Namaste …


    1. They showed snowdrops on the evening news last night for the first day of spring in DC…and no cherry blossoms. I can’t wait to see what will be blooming in your garden this year!!
      I’m reluctant to plan much because of the drought.
      Have I missed your posts or have you been hibernating?


Now have your say...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s