a beginning. / by Anna Li

During this time marked with transition, I should be thinking about a million other trivial things, like the number of immunizations I have to get (nine) or how many instant coffee packets I can smuggle into my suitcase, but instead I keep thinking about a poem, this poem. It's mainly this final stanza, though you can (and should) read the whole thing. Everything I could hope for about these next six months--humility, mindfulness, attentiveness--is carried in the weight of these words.

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

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?


Our wild and precious lives; let us begin here.