Today I am feeling a sweet and abiding joy. There is a deep welling of gratefulness in me. I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you; over and over again. There have been so many wonderful people that have touched me along the way and so many that inspire me.
Sometimes the only thing that will do when I feel like this is to turn to poetry. Leaders should never stray too far from poetry. I offer this poem from Mary Oliver, which strangely enough is about death. How we contemplate death is a key to how we live our lives.
When Death Comes
by Mary Oliver
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
and therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and sisterhood,
and I look upon time as not more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as the field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world in my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
Thank you, thank you, thank you….