Light snow is falling this morning in Amherst. The flakes are at safe distances, slow and lackadaisical about approaching the ground where surrender of their individuality waits. I feel good and at peace with everything and in harmony with everyone.

Nobody knows.

Like the “Rose” in Emily Dickinson’s “Nobody knows this little Rose”, this optimism is a gift for which I temporarily give up worry, fear and other unwanted states of mind and emotion.  

Nobody knows this little Rose –
It might a pilgrim be
Did I not take it from the ways
And lift it up to thee.
Only a Bee will miss it –
Only a Butterfly,
Hastening from far journey –
On its breast to lie –
Only a Bird will wonder –
Only a Breeze will sigh –
Ah Little Rose – how easy
For such as thee to die!

I’m thinking this would be a good day to complete my Christmas shopping. But since my overriding conviviality “… might a pilgrim be” I’d like to do something good for myself while it lasts.

In the line, “And lift it up to thee”, I hear a suggestion to choose to have a conscious relationship with the present.  Neither past nor future.

The poem plays with regarding my sensation as “taking” from other elements of nature to generate a fascination with unearned good feelings, or, of the day itself. “Did I not take it from the ways” of the overall pattern of life, which includes negativity, isolation or discouragement? “Only a Bee will miss it — /Only a Butterfly,”.

Enthusiasm and high spirits have arrived, “Hastening from far journey” to tempt my weakness for letting the day slip by, “On its breast to lie — ”, to consume it without paying attention. No one will know my laziness. 

I imagine the poem nudges me: “Only a Bird will wonder — / Only a Breeze will sigh”.  

Only someone like Carolyn, a girlfriend from my childhood and adolescence who professes to “have invented laziness,” thinking to convince me she is more incorrigible than I, would know how easily I could kill this good day. “Ah Little Rose — how easy / For such as thee to die!”


Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way