To live is so startling

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.- Emily Dickinson

A sense of wonder is the open door to beauty, which can be found everywhere, even in the meanest circumstances. And for most people it's possible to seek circumstances that allow moments of wonder, even if temporarily and at some cost. Yet it's so human to close off to those possibilities and circle in the same daily ruts with closed senses that don't let beauty in. In the way sunlight is needed to wake up the brain every day, I think beauty is needed in small daily doses to awaken the heart.

Wild Ranunculas. This is how you mend, ounce by floating ounce. Each petal lights on the eye, and the five-fingered yellow flowers nod. A moving cloud scars the field in March wind’s bitter tea. Walking through fields is an undoing. Eyes take off memories and stand where sun has fallen and sprouted into a thousand green buds. Within each opened cup, a tiny black and drunken fly. How have you come this far, you ask. To know the wild ranunculas graze on your trampling ankles. Go back! You tell the flowers. The world is not ready for your news of stars. The meadow’s ancient bulletins are thick with unearned light. You return bee-like, carrying.

- Rachel Dacus, from Gods of Water and Air, forthcoming from Aldrich Press