One chance

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I like to teach with a nod to current events and happenings.  Last week we lost a poet named Mary Oliver.  And while I do not confess to knowing the breadth and depth of her work, the few poems of hers that I have read are so beautiful, comforting.  Like being read to by a dear friend, but one who really asks you the hard questions and reminds you what living is truly supposed to be like.  One of her poems in particular, though, is a bit of a wake up call, called The Summer Day.  It draws you in with the scene of a grasshopper in a field, and then startles you with this question at the end, “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?”  And then, just like that, the world stops, sort of in the way when you experience a loss or a tragedy.  Suddenly there is time for introspection and reflection.  Am I living my life in alignment with my passions? And if not, what can I do to correct course?  Thank you, Mary Oliver, for giving us the gift of your prose and for holding the mirror up to our lives, to allow us to see them more clearly and to dive inward to reflect.

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