Cup o’ Courage: “Carpe Diem” & Mary Oliver’s “Winter at Herring Cove”

I am back again with the Cup o’ Courage Series: Spill Your Soul to Fill Your Heart.
Today I am posting a submission from Lara Filia of Columbus, Ohio. Thank you so much for sending, Lara.  If any readers are interested in doing the series, please click on the link above to learn more.

In reading Lara’s responses, I thought about this poem I once read by Mary Oliver about remembering. This beautiful thing we have access to – memory- is truly what keeps those we love alive.  Check out the poem below and Lara’s CUP for the series.

Winter at Herring Cove
by Mary Oliver

Years ago,
in the bottle-green light
of the cold January sea,

two seals
suddenly appeared together
in a single uplifting wave —

each in exactly the same position —
each, like a large, black comma,
upright and staring;

it was like a painting
done twice
and, twice, tenderly.

The wave hung, then it broke apart;
its lip was lightning;
its floor was the blow of sand

over which the seals rose and twirled and were gone.
Of all the reasons for gladness,
what could be foremost of this one,

that the mind can seize both the instant and the memory!
Now the seals are no more than the salt of the sea.
If they live, they’re more distant than Greenland.

But here’s the kingdom we call remembrance
with its thousand iron doors
through which I pass so easily,

switching on the old lights as I go —
while the dead wind rises and the old rapture rewinds,
the stiff waters once more begin to kick and flow.lay with text



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