I do know how.

My HipstaPrint 0-1The 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—
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?

I love this poem. It’s so simple. I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. But I do know how to pay attention. I see a pink cheek, small freshly painted blue nails and the twist of  a braid on a late winter’s day and I know to pause and take note.

Is this what I’m supposed to be doing with my one wild and precious life?

I think so.

What will she do with her one wild and precious life?

To ponder that exquisite question too closely or for too long is like staring into the sun. Better, for now, to stick with my moments.

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