Each June, we celebrate Peony Week at Trillium Studio MKE, moving and breathing inspired by Mary Oliver's amazing poem.
Do you love this world? Do your cherish your humble and silky life? Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Mindfulness invites us to celebrate the power of non-attachment, encouraging us to recognize each moment, each breath, as wild and precious. In and of itself. In her poem, Mary Oliver coaxes us to dive in recklessly, half-dressed and barefoot. To gather up the moment and proclaim its dearness. To honor the role of the ants that climb all over the white and pink pools of lace, taking the sap to their dark, underground cities. She dares us to be brave, blazing open!
Non-attachment asks us to see life as an ever flowing stream of experience whose true beauty is revealed only in the lightness of our grasp. In our willingness to be with it all: the pleasant, the unpleasant, and the neutral, with fullness and grace.
Yoga and Meditation are a wonderful venue for exploring this willingness, with kindness and reverence. Without preferring or rejecting. The shifty wind will blow. The sun will stroke us with his old buttery fingers. And if we're lucky enough to notice, the unlimited possibilities of being alive present themselves in ways we could not have imagined from a limited or half participatory point of view.
The images in this poem break my heart with their rawness. Their honeyed heaviness. Their lush trembling. The exemplary willingness of the peonies to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are nothing forever.
PEONIES by Mary Oliver
This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers
and they open---
pools of lace,
white and pink—
and all day the black ants climb over them,
boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away
to their dark, underground cities—
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,
the flowers bend their bright bodies
and tip their fragrance to the air,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly
and there it is again—
beauty the brave, the exemplary,
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are