Living and Giving

To Live In This World, You Must Be Able to Do Three Things

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To live in this world, you must be able to do three things:

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
to let it go.

-Mary Oliver, In Blackwater Woods


This is an excerpt from a beautiful poem by Mary Oliver. She is so very real about what we must hold to in life. And that powerful concept is love.

Love comes above all profession, all professional achievements, medals or victories.   We love, simply, what make our heart soar… and that often is our mom, a cherished pet, a sunny day, a walk in Yosemite park, or simply a day that is well lived, and goes smoothly.  We love and hold to these treasured experiences.

The only change I would make is that what we hold to really isn\’t mortal.  Instead, we hold to those spiritual qualities that are about love, appreciation, kindness, care. Those aren\’t contained in a body, to one person, or even seeable with our eyes.

It is what our heart knows. So stay with what your heart knows, and you will live a  life filled with peace and love.

Have a Good Evening,