The power of words can reach down and connect with your heart and touch your soul. It can be truly life changing.
Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poets. I remember so clearly the first time I heard one of her poems.
Six years ago I was in beautiful Scotland on a mediation and hiking retreat at a Buddhist centre. The buddhist centre was very simple but surrounded by such beauty of the Scottish Highlands. As soon as I arrived I felt the love and compassion and felt I had arrived home.
After much meditating, and hiking in the surrounding hills and mountains we came together in the meditation hall one evening and mediated together. It was such a deep and enriching experience.
Then someone shared this poem:
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?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
This beautiful poem captures our fragile humanity and reminds us not to play it safe in our lives.
Whenever I read this this poem I am transported back in time to Scotland and re-live the experience. My body, heart and soul listening to these magical words the first time. I feel alive, empowered and joyful. I knew then that my one wild and precious life would be spectacular, joyful, challenging (I don't play life safe and like to step outside of my comfort zone) and one amazing journey.
What about you - tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?