It is just days from my birthday and this is the time of year when I feel most keenly the words of Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day. Tonight I am off to celebrate with dear Le Donne friends, good drink and food, and warm pool water after dark. To take my time and bask in my senses until responsibilities come barreling back into my life tomorrow.

I will do what the grasshopper does in my own way…and I will pray a grateful prayer for all I have been given in these 42 years.

This is one of the things I plan to do with my “one wild and precious life.”

The Summer Day

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 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 is you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

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For me, the swing is the quintessential symbol for letting yourself be carefree. I love this image and these words more every year.