"What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver
Have any of you read, "It's Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too)" by Nora McInerny? If you haven't it's a good read and I recommend it! It will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will make you thankful for people like Nora who so honestly share their stories. I've been meaning to pass that book along to my mom but I can't seem to remember where I put it (I'll get it to you soon!)...anyway, she references Mary Oliver's famous quote in the book and that's what made me think of it!
It made me chuckle because Nora talks about how heavy of a question that is and then her sarcasm and humor just shine!
I DON'T KNOW - Today I plan to make the bed, vacuum the floors, get some work done and make sure there is something to eat around dinner time! What do you want from me?!
People love that quote because it stirs up some sort of extravagance in our minds of how our life will go, or how we picture it going. I've always loved a good inspirational quote...I used to have them plastered everywhere in high school! But did you know that there is a whole poem in front of that quoted verse? One that puts such a heavy question into context and perspective... see below, The Summer Day.
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?
Doesn't the pretext seem to take the pressure off a little bit?!
This month Sam got a new job. Nugget got knee surgery. We sold back my Jetta to pay off a school loan. We found someone to rent our condo long term at the LAST minute, literally just yesterday before Sam heads out of town again for his new job. And we decided to stop doing vacation rentals.
NONE of that was "the plan" two months ago... yet here we are. In the midst of a life that is ever-changing and time that is not slowing down... sometimes I feel like we are constantly looking for the end, the grande finale when our life is magically perfect and put together and "the elusive plan" has been accomplished.
But don't we know that's not how life goes and that's not how our souls work?
What we need to remember with our "one wild and precious life" is to slow down, to look up and around and pay attention, to remember who created us and stand in awe. To enjoy life and the blessings of each day and be thankful.
Don't we realize how quickly it goes and how fast things can change? It's easy to push that thought aside when we feel up to our neck in things that have to get done.
And I'm all for a plan (I'm usually the one that HAS TO KNOW the plan), but I really don't want to miss the day that I have in front of me because I'm too busy looking for what's next. And I don't want to look back and wish that I had been more present. So today I'll focus on doing things with an overwhelming sense of presence, awe and gratitude. Because life is for sure, wild and precious!