2019’s words

These are texts that our family memorized together in 2019 (so far! I’m still updating!):

The pledge of allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Knowing the Pledge of Allegiance is very useful if your children are ever going to participate in public civic life! My husband is a local elected official, and every meeting opens with the saying of the pledge. My son recently attended a meeting with him and led the pledge!

William Stafford

Before dawn, across the whole road
as I pass I feel spiderwebs.

Within people’s voices, under their words or
woven into the pauses, I hear a hidden sound.

One thin green light flashes over a smooth sea
just as the sun goes down.

What roses lie on the altar of evening
I inhale carefully, to keep more of.

Tasting all these and letting them have
their ways to waken me, I shiver and resolve:

In my life, I will more than live.

Even in Darkness
Wendell Berry

Even in darkness, love
shows the circumference
of the world, lightning
quivering on horizons
in the summer night.

Why I Wake Early
Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety—

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light—
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Brian Doyle

Look, here’s what I am trying to say:
The old telephone pole is miraculous.
And the fallen leaves under the roses.
And the molten flow of the old fence
In the schoolyard, and the hedge you
Don’t even see until it gets a crewcut.
Everything is the most amazing thing
That ever was in this amazing galaxy,
Period, end of discussion. Questions?

questions and answers
lucille clifton

what must it be like
to stand so firm, so sure?

in the desert even the saguaro
hold on as long as they can

twisting their arms in
protest or celebration.

you are like me,
understanding the surprise

of jesus, his rough feet
planted on the water

the water lapping
his toes and holding them.

you are like me, like him
perhaps, certain only that

the surest failure
is the unattempted walk.

Late Fragment
Raymond Carver

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved of the earth.