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?
This line from the poem ‘The Summer Day’ by one of my favourite poets, Mary Oliver, ‘what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’ is also one of my favourite lines of poetry. To me, it is evocative and expansive and reminds me that yes, I have one precious life to live, that life itself if a gift and a privilege and yes, at our core, there is a wildness, a primal, mammalian life energy that asks to be lived. For me, this line is both tender and powerful, ripe with the sweet sensual summer energy of sun warmed bodies on a blanket by the lake infused with a joyful zest for life.
I hope you have a wild and precious Summer day!