“….tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver, Summer Day (see full poem below)
These words by Mary Oliver are ringing in my ears today. Here I stand, again confronted with the realities of life and the realities of the planet. All signs pointing to Now. Now is the time to act with increasing fervor, to pursue dreams of peace and alignment. To use my personal gifts and passion for a greater purpose. Life is short.
From an early age, life taught me about the precious amount of time our soul spends on earth, in this body. My mother passed away from breast cancer when I was seven and by the age of 15 my four grandparents had also died. I was lucky to be raised by my father, a wise old hippie, who became my best friend until he passed away a few years back due to unforeseen health issues. I have struggled deeply with these loses, but from them gained wisdom and compassion. Life is short.
We have been in Arizona for a month now, staying with my godfather. Originally, we were just going to stay for Christmas and then head south to Baja for the rest of winter. Plans changed when we found out he has some major health issues and could use our help. As much as we want to travel, explore, and WWOOF now, we also want to support those we care about, especially when they need it most. Life on the road has reminded me of the importance in community. The road will still be there in a few months.
Live Here Now. Not in past memories or in future anticipation and/or worries… a continual work in progress. No idea what I’m talking about? Read the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This idea can also be expressed as mindfulness. This isn’t saying never think about the future or remember the past, its just saying don’t live there. Don’t dwell there for any significant length of time and miss your opportunity right now to be engaged and live life. As someone who is motivated by the future and at times haunted by the past, this is important for me to remember. Life is short.
So with this time in Arizona, we are transitioning. We enjoyed a brief stay in Mexico and will continue to enjoy mini-outings and farm visits for the next month. Alvin and I have been collaborating and planning a project that will continue this EarthLifeJourney for the foreseeable future. The Western Hemisphere Project is still in the beginning stages of life, but is gaining momentum. As outdoor educators, we feel our call ringing louder, to use our gifts for a greater good, now. Life is short.
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?