I’ve been having trouble sleeping. This time of year there’s so much light. The start hardly goes down in the northwest before it’s coming back up again in the east.

As summer hits, I begin to feel an urgency. To do. To see. Like the ferns and flowers frantically reaching for the sky, shouting “Now!” Now is the time for evening bike rides, forest explorations, pulling at weeds, running all the trails. Now!

This week I discovered some “secret creases” around a creek with our oldest daughter. Looking back, I realize I’d been here before, last year.

Behind big boxes
Trails trace the hidden creases
Two geese tend their young


But seeing and smelling the enchanted creek bed again through the years of a 10-year-old, I felt just as alive as the fields bursting with green grasses.

Maybe this is the same urgency pulsing through Mary Oliver’s famous poem, “The Summer Day”:

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?

– Mary Oliver (link)