Rev. Jimmie Scott
In her poem, “The Summer Day” the poet Mary Oliver posed this thought provoking question,
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
As you embark upon this new year, I invite you to consider those words in the context of your life. Are they applicable to your life and your journey? If so, what changes do you want to make from this point forward? Is there anything in particular that you have dreamed of doing, but have not attempted? Oliver poses the question to make the reader think deeper than the norm. To think beyond what happens to us and delve into what happens through us and because of us.
Here is a perfect historical example; in his 53rd year of life the incredible Walt Whitman suffered a stroke that left him severely disabled. Ten years later approaching his 64th birthday, he wrote:
“From the day I enter upon my 64th year. The paralysis that affected me nearly ten years ago, has since remain’d with varying course-seems to have settled quietly down, and will probably continue. I easily tire, am very clumsy, cannot walk far; but my spirits are first rate. I go around in public almost every dat-now and then take long trips, by railroad or boat, hundreds of miles. Live largely in the open air- am sunburnt and stout (weigh 190)-keep up my activity and interest in life, people, progress, and the questions of the day. About two-thirds of the time I am quite comfortable. What mentality I ever had remains entirely unaffected, though physically I am a half-paralytic, and likely to be so , long as I live. But the principal object of my life seems to have been accomplished-I have the most devoted and ardent of friends, and affectionate relatives-and of enemies I really take no account.”
Amazing. No remorse, no self-pity, no resistance, no guilt, no regrets. Just living to the best of his ability.
What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?