Your One Wild and Precious Life

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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 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?

I am currently reading Wild by Cheryl Stayed and last night I came across the quote pictured above. I’ve loved this quote for a long time, but I realized I had never read the poem in which the quote resides, so I did.

It’s a wonderful poem, and gets you thinking about life and what you want out of it.

I still don’t have the answer to that question, but I’m doing my best to figure it out.

There are so many things I want to do, so many things I hope to do in the future, but in the meantime I’m trying to be as present as possible in the here and now. Because plans and somedays are great, and dreams are a necessary part of a happy life, but I don’t want to take for granted how wonderful life is now, right this very second.

Because my San Francisco life is pretty damn great. Living in this city I adore, married to the man I love, making friendships and spending time with some of the most incredible people I know, well… it’s exactly what I always wanted.

That’s not to say I’m not planning on doing all sorts of other exciting things with my one wild and precious life, not at all.

I’m still making plans for my future, exciting plans!, but right now what I plan on doing with my one wild and precious life is enjoying it, and being thankful for where I am today. I waste far too much time stressing about the when and the ifs, and it’s really pointless. It does nothing but distract me from the good things in the present.

And there are a lot of good things.

So your turn…

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
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DJ (@werejustdandy)October 30, 2012 - 6:29 am

I would love to have a good answer to this question, but I’m like you. No clue, but just trying to live in the moment and not worry about it too much!

I just finished Wild. Are you liking it? There were parts that I liked, but overall she kind of annoyed me. She was SO overdramatic… but I guess you have to be dramatic to quit life and hike for 3 months, and without that there would be no book.

Oh and thinking about Wild reminded me that I had a dream about being attacked by a cinnamon-colored bear last night!!

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