“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Lately I have been reminded of the deep wisdom and truth that emerges whenever we show up fully and embrace this beautiful question posed in Mary Oliver’s lovely poem. Life is such a beautiful and sometimes precarious gift; just waiting to be recognized as both wild and precious in each and every moment.
Of the many challenges the church as an institution faces, I believe we are richly blessed with the kindness, compassion and love that binds us together creating a rich foundation for weaving our many “wild and precious lives” together along the way. For though our individual journeys may often be just that, individual, our willingness to connect to God and each other weaves us together in order to be more together than we ever could alone; in short, we become the Body of Christ in and for the world.
And this is true as we grow our circle of inclusion and understanding beyond our community at Trinity and downtown Toledo. This morning I write to you from Kalamazoo, Michigan at the start of the “Province V Big Provincial Gathering”; an Episcopal conference with 400 participants representing 14 Episcopal Dioceses in the Midwest. I am so grateful for the work of our denomination keeping us engaged and inspired as we grow and expand in our awareness, faith and compassion. I look forward to sharing stories from this experience with you when I return this weekend.
Each of our lives is a brief moment on the continuum of eternity. The speed of life can’t be controlled, but lately, in between these sacred moments, I have found myself feeling so grateful for the brilliant companionship I have discovered along the way. I am giving thanks today for the wideness of God’s love and mercy, for friends I will see today from years of experience in the wider church, for the new friends I will make, for the speakers and workshops I will hear and attend, and throughout it all I now do so through the eyes and heart of being grounded at Trinity. I promise to pay close attention to God’s work in these next few days and then return home to you so that together we can continue to ask, “…what is it WE plan to do with OUR one wild and precious life?”
May you never forget that you are loved.
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?