Your Wild and Precious Life

My favorite poet, Mary Oliver closed her poem “The Summer Day,” with a challenge:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

That is the question, isn’t it? The same question. Every damn day. What is the plan? Is this the life I want? After years and years of asking the questions, here’s what I know about that:

Your wild and crazy body, mind, and spirit drives your bus. If you don’t grab the wheel, you can’t know where you’ll end up.

So, let’s explore this. I know that you don’t have to think about becoming alive every morning. You just are. You don’t have to think about breathing. You just do. (We really don’t need to mess with bodily functions to continue this path of reasoning, do we?)

The thing is that those are processes we need to survive. Living? That’s something far juicier.

We get to take bites of the forbidden fruits of fun and excitement and fear and love. If we want to live our wholehearted and magical life, let’s begin our days with “Why not?” instead of “Of course not!”

Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I AM ENOUGH. - Brené Brown

Yes, you are. So what will we do to fire up the bus, plan a new route, and drive towards your wild and precious life?

These are the last days of April and National Poetry Month. I thought you would enjoy reading Mary Oliver’s entire poem. Namaste.

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?