“My Work is Loving This World”


Dear Reader:

With each poem I read by Mary Oliver I am becoming a more avid fan. Her works are so down to earth and provide simple inspiration without a lot of fanfare. It appeals greatly to me at this stage of life where less is best.

This is the first poem from a collection of poems called Messenger and the more I read it…the more I have become enamored of it.

“My Work is Loving This World:

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.


I read through the poem several times and admit that I looked up two words…”phoebe” and “delphinium.

download (1)A “phoebe” is a type of small bird, more commonly known, as a flycatcher….it eats a variety of small insects.

Delphinium is a type of plant that has over 300 variations. This was the picture I found on-line but there were hundred more of every color and size…beautiful!

images (1)

thumbnail_IMG_2715The closest thing in my garden to this plant (perhaps a distant cousin) is the photo in the title picture. It is where I found that adorable little bumblebee yesterday drinking away.

After re-reading the poem the thought came to me that if everyone born on earth would look at their purpose here within the context of ‘loving the world as their work” ….what a beautiful world we would live in!  Because if we truly loved the world, no matter what pursuit of work we carried with us… we would never intentionally harm it.

Like the bee we would only take from earth what we needed and never destroy it with our greed. When we think of wars, conflicts, controversies it always , always comes down to one problem….GREED. Sadly it seems like it is so inherent in humanity that the thought of an utopia of peace and beauty here on earth appears unattainable.

But that doesn’t mean we should just throw in all the cards and say “It is what it is”….God gave us free will …so if we used it unwisely and messed up…it is up to us to fix it. God, like a good parent, waits for His Children to do what they know is best for the world in their hearts…for the gift of Creation bestowed upon them by an adoring Father.

By the time you read this I will probably be back home with Brookie putting drops in my eyes. I am excited but a little nervous too….am always happier when I can re-tell the story in past tense…that, hopefully, will happen tomorrow. * If there is no blog you know the eyesight is still adjusting.

So until tomorrow…The sun always shines above the clouds…and that is what I want to see clearly….the rays from the sun shining down on me and my little life. One”cloud” is being removed today…forecast…mostly sunny in the right eye, still a little cloud coverage in the left eye (until Sept 15 when it is removed.)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

  • Good sign this morning….an alignment of the universe rarely seen. Last night’s beautiful moon flower was still in bloom when the surrounding morning glories woke up and greeted the moon flower good morning. It is a rarity to have a moon flower still blooming when the morning glories pop open. A wonderful God Wink for me I believe.
  • IMG_2727

Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

IMG_6892 (2)Yesterday (at the DSS parking lot) we had one man stop and say the cookie we gave him was the best he had ever eaten…and blessed us…Another man stopped to give us each a little pumpkin for being kind to him. He had medical tests all day and hadn’t eaten anything…was so hungry! What a blessing for us to be able to help!

FullSizeRender*Brooke was home when I got back from DSS and we started talking, catching up and didn’t stop ….except to eat a delicious supper at Oscars with Kevin, our favorite waiter.

IMG_2741^This is what we saw heading out this morning around 6:00….a beautiful full moon! God Wink!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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3 Responses to “My Work is Loving This World”

  1. Janet Bender says:



  2. Jo Dufford says:

    Prayers and thoughts are with you today. Enjoyed the poem and the thoughts it brought to mind.


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