“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.” (Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day”)
I stand out on the deck in the afternoon sun, the hot boards burning the pads of my feet while I am clipping diapers and freshly laundered clothes on the line. The sun beats down fierce on my face and bare arms. The breeze picks up snapping wet fabric against my body. I pause and search the hazy summer sky:
Is this my one wild and precious life?
Because it doesn’t feel wild – these endless days of laundry piles and dirty diapers, food crumbs littering the kitchen floor, and school work strewn across counter and tabletops.
Maybe wild can be found in the dining room? Where unpacked boxes from our move eight months ago have found their final resting place.
Or perhaps wild is in my office? To be honest it does feel like a jungle in here. Says the mother writer who stepped over math manipulative bins, a basket of cards, two containers of homeschool portfolio materials and a treadmill to make it to my writing perch.
Maybe wild is this potential avalanche of bills, receipts, and paperwork that rests on top of my desk?
Is it wild – those bottles of pills I have to take to help my body function at optimum levels. Levels that still do not feel optimal? Good grief I am losing hair…again.
It can be hard to find the sacred places – those wild spaces – between the sheets and the wet towels, bathtub rings and freshly laundered piles.
It can be hard to find a sacred life on the other end of medical bills and pharmacy receipts.
The holy ground of my life does not feel wild. It feels tamed.
For Everything There is a Season
I know life comes in seasons.
I’ve born witness to the birth of season after season on the path.
And I am learning new seasons from the front porch.
I am daily walking the seasons of marriage and motherhood.
But I can’t help feeling like a domesticated house cat.
Once meant for the wild and now tamed, declawed, and spayed.
It is difficult to settle into intentional choices of domesticity and still feel the wildness of life.
- Can wild be found between kitchen sink bubbles and bathroom floors soaking wet after bath time?
- Can wild be discovered over coffee and quiet words on the front porch Sunday mornings?
- Can wild be unearthed over a glass of wine, deck sitting, and silent resting with my husband on a Friday night while our children run barefoot chasing fireflies in the backyard?
- Can wild be chosen in the midst of the home?
God, I want to live a wild life.
But who is there to teach me HOW?
I haven’t met many people clinging to wild.