May’s Theme: Mystery

In considering this month’s theme of mystery, I stumbled upon a poem by the late Mary Oliver entitled “Mysteries, Yes”. It is a new poem to me, and as I mourned the beloved poet’s death earlier this year, it is a joy to discover new treasures still among her writing. I share this poem here with all of you:


“Mysteries, Yes”

by Mary Oliver

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous

to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the

mouths of the lambs.

How rivers and stones are forever

in allegiance with gravity

while we ourselves dream of rising.

How two hands touch and the bonds

will never be broken.

How people come, from delight or the

scars of damage,

to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those

who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say

“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,

and bow their heads.”


This poem speaks to the heart of what I value in Unitarian Universalist spirituality: people who can hold the wonder of not knowing and the joy of mystery. Dogmatic self-righteousness abounds in our society, building walls between us. But open-minded curiosity can lead us through new doors yet to be discovered: natural wonders, miracles of relationship, and new ways of seeing. Doing this work of questioning together allows us to grow.

May our wonder lead us away from judgment and into learning. May we always cherish mystery at the center of our life together.