Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Next Steps

Abi Strait is the new 2013-2014 Micah Fellow at ECH!  She comes to us from Wisconsin via the Lutheran Service Corps in Delaware, where she worked at the Ministry of Caring. As a Fellow in the Life Together Program, she'll be splitting her time between ECH and our mother-parish, Christ Church Cambridge. 

I’ve been thinking about next steps recently. An intimidating line of thought at any time, but feels especially so as I’m only just beginning to feel “settled” in my new Boston life. As I look at potential grad school programs and think about possible careers, a snippet of poetry comes to mind frequently. It’s source, “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver, is a frequently quoted poem, especially the last two lines (which, of course, are the ones running through my head so often). As I can’t offer any stunning insights or wise conclusions on planning for The Future, I want to share Oliver’s poem here in the hopes that it helps others figuring out their next steps as it has for me.

Mary Oliver’s “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?

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