Heaven in a Wild Flower

Image by Joe from Pixabay

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour

-William Blake

I thought about those lines of that famous poem, never having read the rest of it. How intense the complete poem is surprised me, though I guess it shouldn’t have since I used to read a lot of William Blake’s poetry when I was in High School, even memorizing them.

For a little while I went through a phase of memorizing not just his poems, but a few others. Poe. Yeats. I’d recite them out loud, alone in a room, over and over. They brought me comfort that I couldn’t really explain.

Years later, watching Shakespeare in Love with my wife on our first date, one line stuck out: “I will have poetry in my life.” Sometimes a poem really cuts through all the excess that is not needed, tapping right into feeling and bringing it into life through expression.

I don’t consider myself a poet, though I write the occasional one because sometimes that feels like the form in which my feelings or thoughts need to be expressed. Anything else can feel like excess, in such times.

And this wasn’t intended to be a post about poetry, by the way. Poetry merely hijacked me, after finding the right poem excerpt to go with the right picture that fit the reason I started this post: to say just a little about paying attention to the small things in life that bring us a little wonder. Like the flower with one defiant seedpod still holding on, perhaps in its own way, saying please don’t let me go!

The grain in the wood table.

The pawprints on the sliding glass doors.

The dog toy on the lawn.

The ivy on the backyard wall.

The sunlight slipping through the trees.

The vibrant colors of the books on shelves.

The memories that have made themselves at home in objects.

All this and more, the ten thousand things, right in front of your presence if you’re only willing to pause and experience them in any way you are able to experience them. Perhaps not with our ears, perhaps not with our eyes, but in one way or another we can experience these little wonders. These are the poems that have found another way to exist.

What do you have before you, today?

By J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

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