Abundance by Amy Schmidt

in memory of Mary Oliver

It’s impossible to be lonely

when you’re zesting an orange.

Scrape the soft rind once

and the whole room

fills with fruit.

Look around: you have

more than enough.

Always have.

You just didn’t notice

until now.

Abundance

This poem appeared in Rattle magazine in January 2019, three days after the death of Mary Oliver, beloved poet of the present moment. In this brief yet profound poem, Schmidt captures the essence of Oliver’s attention to detail.

If you have never zested an orange, I suggest you do it now so that you will immediately understand what she means that the whole room / fills with fruit. Not just the scent of orange but the feel and taste and look of orange, its very presence in which you are not alone.

Then she invites us to realize that you have / more than enough. Not only do we have enough, we have always had enough. You just didn’t notice / until now. There is a quiet gratitude for this small gift that shows us our enough-ness in any moment.

It is true, is it not, that such a simple thing as the scent of citrus can remind us of the abundance in our lives. An abundance that has always been there, waiting for our attention, just like Mary Oliver taught in her poetry.

May the pungent or delicate scent of any fruit today bring you awake.

13 thoughts on “Abundance by Amy Schmidt

  1. I uncovered this one of her a few years ago.
    I love the message of living in the moment with gratitude for the simple things mother earth offers us.
    Thank you, Jan

    Like

  2. I love that the powerful beautiful scent of orange zest can bring us into the moment and gratitude. It’s bringing back the memory of my mother putting orange peel on the hotplate and how the smell filled the whole house. Living in the moment with gratitude and a lovely forgotten memory. Thanks Jan.

    Like

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