Breathing in the Last Few Minutes of Summer

Today is the last day of summer.  Coincidentally, I came across this poem by Mary Oliver that sums up pretty well about the shift between summer’s long sunny days and autumns’shortening days and  rigid schedules. Breathing in the last few minutes of summer….I hope it’s been a great one for you.  Enjoy the poem!

Just When the Calendar Began to Say Summer

I went out of the schoolhouse fast
and through the garden to the woods,
and spent all summer forgetting what I’d been taught –

two times two, and diligence and so forth,
how to be modest, and useful and how to succeed and so forth,
machines and oil and plastic and money and so forth.

By fall I had healed somewhat, but was summoned back
to the chalky rooms and the desks to sit and remember

the way the river kept rolling it’s pebbles,
the way the wild wren sang though they hadn’t a penny in the bank,
the way the flowers were dressed in nothing but light.

~Mary Oliver

What I’ve Learned So Far


What I’ve Learned So Far
by Mary Oliver

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world?

Because, properly attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.

Can one be passionate about the just, the ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit to no labor in its cause?

I don’t think so.

All summations have a beginning,
all effect has a story,
all kindness begins with the sown seed.

Thought buds toward radiance.
The gospel of light is the crossroads of indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

Wild and Precious

 Family by tree

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 is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around her with 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?

I saw this poem and immediately thought of my girls. Wild and Precious. The question she asks,  “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” got me thinking about my own life, the life I am living today, my ordinary life in the here and now.

Your life is wild and precious too.  It’s here, then it’s gone.  Don’t let your life slip by busying yourself with plans and projects that will raise you to the top.  Live the life in this day, today.  Just breathe, and just be.


photo by BrittianiRenee