September is upon us, but I’m clinging to the reality that it is still summer! Yes, I’m still wearing white after Labor Day! And I am so filled with gratitude for the circle of community support that wraps us in love since Graham’s fall from a tree stand on Aug. 30th. Though sustaining multiple broken bones, he has begun the long healing process and is at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown. In a week he will return home to continue extensive physical therapy. These brushes with mortality draw us back to what is most important, don’t they? They call us to realign our priorities. To pay attention. Really pay attention to the gifts of this life.
Many of you know of my love for the poetry of Mary Oliver. In this past Saturday’s edition of The On Being Project with Krista Tippett, one of Oliver’s poems appear, bringing my family’s past couple of weeks into focus. I share it here:
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 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? - Mary Oliver
‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.’ It is a question for each of us, no matter our age. How are we being called to live out the love and mercy and blessing we’ve known?
Similarly, it is a question for local congregations – it is a question for us. What is it we plan to do with our one wild and precious life? What are we willing to be, for Love?
Just a little wondering as the we lean toward fall!
In gratitude, Jill