With New Eyes, Shining, and Unafraid

I lay in bed one night recently, reading aloud a poem by Mary Oliver called simply, “Rain.”

I was reading the poem slowly, word by careful word, to no one in particular but myself. To the night maybe, the sky, to the flicker of stars.

The poem’s precise but gentle details drew me, and as I read aloud in my low, quiet tone, I felt for a moment as if I were a mother reading to her child.

I thought about if I had a child, a daughter or a son, or both, I might read them a poem like this at night before bedtime and watch with delight the words come alive in their glorious minds...

But then I thought how I might be afraid to fill their heads with poetry, art, and wonder — and be among a world that doesn’t often stop to experience such things, because they do not “matter.”

Would they then feel apart sometimes like me?

Or would they marvel, instead, at the rain the next morning with new eyes, shining, and unafraid?