Monday, July 9, 2012

The Summer Day

I had the good fortune to take a yoga class at 7:30 in the morning on Coast Guard Beach this past Saturday.  For those unfamiliar, Coast Guard is the gateway to the "Great Beach", that is the 20 miles of uninterrupted shoreline owned by mostly the National Seashore on Cape Cod.  

While the instructor was somewhat a bit too chatty for me at that hour of the morning, (especially since I ran out to the beach and just wanted to zone out to the sound of crashing waves), she read this poem aloud to us and it has stuck with me ever since.  I found it fitting that the author lives in Provincetown, the wonderfully eccentric town tipping the Cape.  Life is wild and precious - enjoy every day.  

The Summer Day by 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?