Words for a New Year

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?” — Mary Oliver


I read that Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, recently passed away. I’m not that familiar with her work, so in poking around the internet to see what else she wrote that I may have read, I came across her poem “The Summer Day”.

I realize that this is probably the most pintrested and quoted line she ever wrote (which says a lot, because she wrote so many powerful/inspiring lines!) But at the awakening of this new year, at this point in my personal trajectory, this was the question I needed to ask myself.

You see, I woke up, having reached a certain age, to find that I’m not all that comfortable in my own life because it was designed for different circumstances, for things that never became part of my story. And there was no room for some things that did. I spent 50 years knitting a life that doesn’t fit me and I feel like I’ve been working way to hard at it!

Then I read a poem, and it asked me a question that I realized it was time to answer. This time based on what is real for me now, what is possible for my life, and what I really want to do. And it doesn’t mean throwing everything out … it means knitting a new ‘suit’, one that fits who I am (still working on that) and all that I hold dear. One with enough stretch to comfortably accommodate all the wonder and joy that I have yet to take in. I will love, I will learn, I will create beauty, I will dance, I will sing, I will write.

What do I plan to do with my one wild and precious life? I plan to love it. That will do for now.



One Snuggly, Sunny Saturday in September

Sometimes you have to stop the dirty grueling work and take a day to snuggle a baby. It’s good for the soul.

I’ve been reflecting on the choices we’ve made since selling our condo in Surrey. I’ve been saying that I had no regrets because it all works out in the end, that the best adventures were born of the more impulsive decisions, the riskier options. I stand by that statement, right up until we decided to buy this house. This may have been our first actual mistake.

That said, it’s still a house with huge potential. Our plans for it are still awesome. It just doesn’t fit into our original live-the-dream plan in any way, shape or form and because of that, we’ve had to make some compromises, to give some things up.

One of those things I had to resign was taking SweetEsther up to Northern Alberta for the Klassen family reunion this weekend. The van was in no shape for that trip and neither were we after spending days digging out and cribbing up the cellar, a job that absolutely had to be done this week. It’s a whole thing and it is what it is, and I didn’t even know it was important to me until this weekend. But still, I was feeling it.

And then the opportunity to babysit my niece’s little one came up and my first thought was YES! and my second thought was ‘my house is not fit for a baby yet!’ But that’s just the thing, it won’t be ready for a long time yet and getting to snuggle babies was part of what I was looking forward to in this move. It’s what I really wanted to do. The world won’t end if I take a day off to do this, to connect with this amazing little person and refresh my soul a little. So we rocked and we snuggled and we giggled and we read a story and played the guitar (I played, Randy added impromptu percussion, and baby rocked out. So cute!) and then we rocked & snuggled some more. I did what I really wanted to do for a day, and you know what, I only felt better for it!

I’m still feeling like this house was not our best choice, I’m still not thrilled about all the ramifications of it, but it’s done and I do believe this little house has some things it can teach me over the next year. Things about myself, things about life and what’s most important. Oh so many things to learn.

I hope there are lot’s of puppies and babies and visits and music and story writing in that process . . . who knows! Me and my ugly little house are going to be pretty tight for the winter, and hopefully in the spring, we will both emerge a better version of ourselves. I know she already has a better, stronger foundation. I feel just a tiny bit stronger too!