Yesterday, I spent a beautiful summer day hiking in the woods of Lincoln with my little family and then lazily kayaking down the Sudbury River. I observed grand birds and tiny-busy birds, insects, the different shimmering greens of the tree lines and wetlands, and the lazy flow of the water.
So much of farming is observation, and while I relish that part of my job, there is something so different and special about watching the natural world when you aren’t working. Obviously this, one of Mary Oliver’s most well-loved poems, isn’t just about observing or being in nature, and that may not be what it’s really about at all. But last night, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wanted to share it with you all today.
I hope you all are enjoying your own beautiful summer Sundays.
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?