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There are always otherwises in life we can never know, because they have not happened and perhaps never will. In many ways, I am grateful for not having experienced the otherwises that might replace getting out of bed on two strong legs or eating my cereal, breakfast bar, and banana each morning. Or, drinking tea as part who I am.

Jane Kenyon wrote about things we take for granted because they are ingrained in who we are and we pay little attention to them. They are the ordinary things that in many ways are extraordinary.

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.

I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

33 responses »

  1. Thank you for this wonderful reminder! One day it will be otherwise – until then we need to remember not to take those little thinks for granted but to enjoy them with a thankful mind and being fully present here and now.

  2. I’m so grateful that my day has been exactly as it has been, and will be. I accept that it will one day be otherwise. This is the only certainty.

    Thanks for sharing this poem and author.

  3. Pingback: Otherwise | carmen

  4. Pingback: Otherwise | Quotes & Things to Inspire You

  5. Pingback: Otherwise | A Complex World

  6. Wonderful post Ivon. Sings gratitude.

  7. Beautiful day to spend without thinking about the otherwise.thank you for visiting my plog.jalal

  8. Beautiful in its simplicity. We take our simple lives for granted. Millions around the world don’t enjoy what we have. Yes, it could be otherwise. Thanks for sharing.

  9. This is a wonderful shift in perspective that opens my heart. I’m grateful that I found your blog, it could have been otherwise.

  10. Profoundly simple and simply profound.

  11. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  12. This is so true and a truth that I will be the first to admit – I forget more often I I should. Gee, I should never forget. Thank you for the reminder.

  13. May I post this on my twitter feed?

  14. On another note …. thank you for the “follow”. Thank you for stopping by … it’s really appreciated!! 🙂 … Peace!!

  15. This is a very good poem, I like this one a lot, thank you for posting it.


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