Thanks to my parents and my NDA education, I love reading. One of my favorite authors is Annie Dillard whose writing is so relevant, thoughtful, inspirational and always timely. This quote from her book The Writing Life seems made for this moment we find ourselves in.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
Dillard goes beyond stating the obvious in that she challenges us to reflect on how we actually spend our days. Is this what we want our life to become? When we reflect back on our lives, will we wish we spent more time with friends and family, read more books, took more walks, worked longer hours, wrote more in our journal, sent more thank you notes…and on it goes.
As our daily lives have been completely reshaped for the moment, an unintended consequence may be to take stock of how we actually do spend our days. Many are finding more time – with close family, to take walks, for quiet reflection, in front of a computer, to read books, to talk with God and to chat with friends. This may be a blessing in disguise! When we consider how we are spending our days now, will we think anew how we would like to spend our lives?
And today may you have a little more time to read this poem from Mary Oliver…
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?