I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary Oliver this week. Her poetry gutted me in the most brilliantly gentle ways. Never did I read her words without softening further into honesty.
She compelled us like no other poet to return to the raw elements and roots of our humanity while never forsaking the gift in all of it. There is sorrow in her passing today. There is goodness too, as only she could describe it.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~Mary Oliver
These words always bring it all home, don’t they? Wild and precious indeed. How will we spend our life? How will we leave it? What will we give within it? How will we forsake our selfishness and choose love instead? How will we listen to the wisdom within us and around us?
Please, let’s not waste another day letting life get in the way of how we want to live.
Our circumstances may not change overnight but we can actively, courageously cultivate something new. We can choose more than we realize. When it is important to us, we create a way. When it is not important to us, we create an excuse. Please, let’s not excuse our way through life just to avoid the challenging passages, conversations, and free-falls into becoming more of ourselves.
Shame will forever be a lousy confidante to living out our wild and precious life whereas courage and vulnerability are always holding space for us to be exactly who we are.
Mary Oliver was one feisty, courageous soul and she reminds us today in her passing what it means to truly live well.
Yes, living well is a complex, layered thing, isn’t it? Sometimes it asks of our courage to move through rocky terrain. Sometimes we barely get a break and we’re traversing another mountain. Yet living well isn’t about an absence of challenge. Living well is about practicing courage and grace within them.
To your own one, wild, and precious life, Mary Oliver, we thank you for sharing it with us.