photo by Joel DeWaard
photo by Joel DeWaard


How beautiful the things are that you did not notice before!
A few sweetclover plants
Along the road to Bellingham,
Culvert ends poking out of driveways,
Wooden corncribs, slowly falling,
What no one loves, no one rushes towards or shouts about,
What lives like the new moon,
And the wind
Blowing against the rumps of grazing cows.
~Robert Bly from “Like the New Moon I Will Live My Life”


I see in a new way now,
my eyes scanning for the unnoticed and plain,
along the roadsides, on my walks,
anywhere I might wander.
I take a moment to notice what
I might keep for another day,
like a jar of canned peaches in my cellar,
so I won’t forget, and someday share
its sweetness.

photo by Joel DeWaard
photo by Joel DeWaard
photo by Harry Rodenberger
photo by Harry Rodenberger


8 thoughts on “Noticing

  1. The pic of the cows in the mist is almost ethereal. Stunning. They look like Guernseys or Jerseys? Don’t see too many of them in the many dairy farms in my area. We see mostly the higher-yield Holsteins – except in Vermont where there seem to be many more Guernseys.

    Emily, Bly’s observation and your comment resonated with me this morning – particularly since I had just read this before I went to bed last night:

    “Lord, my heart is not proud;
    nor are my eyes haughty.
    I do not busy myself with great matters,
    with things too sublime for me.
    Rather, I have stilled my soul,
    hushed it like a weaned child.
    Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap.
    so is my soul within me….”
    PSALM 131: 1-2 (NAB)


  2. thanks for Psalm 131, Alice. It is very fitting! These are Jerseys, now becoming the dairy cow of choice in our county due to higher yield, higher butterfat on lower feed. They are always beautiful to see in a herd. I grew up with Guernseys but they are very rare any more.


  3. Love this, Emily, but I must know what the flowers are in the bottom photo :). From Harry’s garden?


  4. no, those are a volunteer something that is growing as ground cover in our herb garden. They weren’t there last year and this year they are all over!


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