In one of the comments to this post, a friend sent a link to this poem. And I just can't get some of the lines out of my head - the ones that I've highlighted below. I think it's just beautiful.
The Summer DayWho 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
These words ring in my ears: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
I sometimes think that being as productive as possible is the goal, but I love how this poem exalts idleness as potential prayer. Paying attention, slowing down enough to really watch, praying, and listening - these are some of the things I want to do with my one wild and precious life.