The Summer Day ~ Mary Oliver

It’s a sultry day here in New England.  The sun is down but the weight of the summer heat remains.  Here in the U.S., it is a public holiday in celebration of the veterans who have, and who continue to, put their life on the line for the freedom of their nation.  To uphold their countries values.  I am not a proponent of war, it saddens me that young men and women are making such sacrifices – leaving their families; mothers, fathers, brother and sisters..and their own children, to fight wars that often feel haggard and kaleidoscopic (without the color).  I know some battles need to be fought, but I wonder.  Which ones really?

So, on my long journey home from the Hamptons today I couldn’t help but think about the last line of Mary Oliver’s poem – The Summer Day (below) where she says “And what will you do with your one wild and precious life”.

Clearly, this is the theme over the last few posts; it is what I am reflecting on in my own life and I think it more than appropriate on a day such as this Memorial Day.  In the midst of it all are the people who have fought for this freedom ~ and so, I think it bears asking….what are ya gonna do with it? 

The Ultimate Sacrifice:

The Summer Day ~ 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?

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