Last Updated on October 21, 2020 by Stacy Averette

One of my favorite childhood memories is the time I spent exploring in the woods around my house. I still think about it often.

Even now spending time outdoors is one of my favorite, most life-giving activities, when I take time to do it. I vowed this year that I’d get back to spending time outside each day.

Maddie turned 21 in March and for her birthday she wanted to go to High Falls Park. I’d never been before but after looking at some photos on a friend’s Instagram account and doing a little Google research, it seemed like the perfect road trip destination.

High Falls Park is kind of in the middle of nowhere, which always turns out to be the best kind of road trip! (We didn’t have any trouble finding it thanks to our GPS!) The Park has a small welcome center, bathrooms, a pavilion for picnicking and a playground. The very short walk to the falls from the parking area is paved so the beauty of the Falls is accessible to everyone!

We had a wonderful day!

As I rested on a rocky ledge below the falls, I couldn’t help think of Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day. You may be familiar with the last line, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” When I first read that line—quoted out of context—it felt like a question pressing me hard to do more, try harder, “work smarter.” The achiever in me wanted to do all the things to make certain that I do not waste my one wild and precious life.

And then I read her beautiful poem from beginning to end.

Turns out sitting on a mossy rock in the woods is one of the places where the mundane becomes sacred.

I believe Mary Oliver’s words are the perfect caption for the photos I took on this wild and precious ordinary day.


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?

—Mary Oliver

I spent the day watching water fall, clouds float, and wind blow. I saw grown children laugh, feet slow to rest, and cares melt away.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Have you spent a day like this recently? Would you like to? What will it take for you to pay attention to your life and be idle and blessed?

If you know someone who might need this reminder today will you share this post with them, please?

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