“One Wild and Precious Life”

It’s almost the end of the year. This, more than any other time, I reflect on the past year. Each year seems to whiz by faster than the previous one. There are so many things I plan to do, but file away for later. In 2012, I’d like to trash that file. If it’s important, fun, and something I love, quit saving it!

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The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

“The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver, from The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays. © Beacon Press, 2008.

1 comment
  1. Mary Charles said:

    Beautiful! Now the important part is to act on those thoughts of stopping the “filing” and actually taking action!!
    Another great shot for the cards, book & pictures beautifully framed and hanging in a gallery! Loved the poem too.
    MC

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