Vows for the Summer Solstice
June 21, 2013
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The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
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?
I vow to . . .
I vow to love, honor, and cherish all beings, including myself, and to trust in their innate goodness.
I vow to celebrate the preciousness and beauty of life.
I vow to play, sing, and dance, to use my body joyfully and harmoniously.
I vow to stretch myself, inside and out, always.
I vow to discover (or simply re-discover) within myself the vast wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and truth that will guide me in this life.
In celebration of my favorite day of the year, the summer solstice, I bow to the L I G H T that shines within me and within all of us, and I salute the sun!