Slice of Life: My Morning View


On the way home yesterday I listened to Scott Kelly, the astronaut who just returned to Earth after a year on the ISS, being interviewed on NPR. When asked how he kept himself going day after day, Kelly replied that “focusing on the small milestones along the way…helped break up a very long duration flight.”

Artists of every type know this is just as true here on Earth. Routines can dull our senses to the beauty of the world around us. We have to be on the lookout for the extraordinary everywhere. As Mary Oliver says, “the world offers itself to your imagination.”

Here’s a snapshot of what the world offered to my imagination this morning:

This blustery winter day
an apple tree,
the lone remnant of an orchard,
it’s limbs leafless and craggy,
is adorned by birds.
Blue jays, raucous and loud,
dressed for a party with jaunty crests
and black collars,
their wings,
folded like intricately patterned fans,
create a mosaic of vibrant blues
against the morning sky.

© Catherine Flynn, 2016

 Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life: My Morning View

  1. Catherine, your poem was such a welcome as I read my first #SOL blog of the day. The world offered your imagination a beautiful gift and you captured it in words so eloquently! Looking forward to reading more of your slices!


  2. Thanks for the reminder to ” focus on the small milestones…” Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up on the big picture and can’t see the progress that is being made.


  3. A beautiful poem, Catherine! Your precise language helped me visualize and I like the way you put the adjectives describing the tree limbs and the blue jays after the nouns – so unexpected. I have several collections of Mary Oliver’s poems. Your quote of hers makes me want to go back and read some of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You do slow down for birds and capture the scene quite beautifully in your poem. Mary Oliver’s wisdom guides me,too. I can here her say ““Instructions for living a life.
    Pay attention.
    Be astonished. Tell about it.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All I can say is WOW, Catherine. Your poem is vibrant and gives a snapshot of the ordinary in a most extraordinary way. This line of though has been something I have been reflecting on myself. As Mary Oliver says, with eyes to see and imagination to see beyond, the ordinary can become so extraordinary!

    Liked by 1 person

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