Advent 14: Remembering to Notice


When I was 18, Denise Levertov’s book Evening Train was assigned to me in my Modern Poetry class with Dr. Delaney. I remember the splurge of buying all those books at the campus bookstore, and I remember the decision not to sell them back—R.S. Thomas, Seamus Heaney, Dylan Thomas. What wonderful gluttony that was!

Levertov moved to Seattle for the last 8 years of her life and wrote many poems about Mt. Rainier. Not climbing it or conquering it, but letting glimpses of it inspire her everyday life and writing. Her poetry has always helped me notice what’s around me.

Here’s a favorite about noticing. I hope your day is full of it.


Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils
of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
in veils in inattention, apathy, fatigue,
when I forget or refuse to go
down to the shore or a few yards
up the road, on a clear day,
to reconfirm
that witnessing presence.