One Wild and Precious Life

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

This quote from Mary Oliver‘s famous poem, The Summer Day, has always filled me with a great sense of wonder and awe at the precious life I’ve been given. 

I know I’ll live this life just once, so I feel a great responsibility to live it well.

This keeps me focused, questioning and reflecting:

    • What am I doing with my one wild and precious life?
    • Will I leave the world a better place for having been here?
    • Will I make each minute of each day count?
    • Will my choices uplift others and leave a legacy that I’m proud to leave to my children and grandchildren?
    • How can I be the very best version of myself?

Perhaps this blog and my work as a teacher, facilitator and mentor is part of the answer.  I believe that if I can inspire just one person then I’ve made a positive difference.

The Summer Day

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?

– Mary Oliver

Short Video

In this video Mary Oliver reads her poem, The Summer Day, which first appeared in House of Light (Beacon Press, 1990).