“Tell me, what is it you plan to do, with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
With the arrival of another new year, this quote from one of my favorite poets has been on my mind a lot. I’m not one for big celebrations, making resolutions, breaking them a few months later. But I am one for taking this time to ask myself (again), where do truly I want to go from here?
There is so much that interests me, adventures I would like to have and things I would love to try out. I know there will never be enough time or resources, realistically, for everything. And I can accept that. There will be some places I don’t get to visit, Antarctica, maybe, and some pastimes I will never have the time to fully pursue, like learning to play the violin.
It’s okay, I’ll deal. I’m not expecting everything. There’s just a couple biggies I’d really like to figure out.
The key word in the quote above, to me, is “one.” When you have two loves, two paths you’d like to follow in life, what do you do when they seem to lead in opposite directions?
I often feel torn between two of my great loves: traveling to new places, and my desire to fully embrace my life on the farm. Every time I look out the window over the fields, I long to see a horse or two grazing there alongside a few goats, maybe even a cow. I want to keep on planting, digging in the dirt, bringing life back to the home that has given me so much.
But I also want to see the world. Or at least a good part of it, before I pass out of this existence. All the places that call to me I want to answer. I want to make my pilgrimages, lay myself at their feet, and either rejoice or despair in their presence.
I want to head down, in, and I long simultaneously to head outward. I want to be in love with and I want to be in awe of the world, with my one wild, precious life. And I want to write about, photograph, paint it all.
More and more, I am asking myself if the dreams I have can somehow work together one day. And include my writing, my art, the other compulsions that feed my spirit. I’m not sure I could live fully without any of them anymore.
So what’s a girl to do? I’m not sure yet. I keep asking, looking, trying to be proactive but also allowing things to unfold as they will. It’s a fine line to walk, but I’m hoping that this year (and every one hereafter) will bring me even one step closer to an answer.