By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, August 28, 2016

Wednesday nights in August remind us how busy we have been over the summer from Mission Macon to Passport. If you missed last night, then you missed seeing the maturity of our youth, the energy of our youth intern, and the graceful, committed leadership of our youth minister, Cass DuCharme.

Every year our youth attend Passport youth camp. I would like to thank our youth and our youth minister, Cass, for the reminder to consider the living of our days from the wild and precious perspective of our youth. This year’s theme, “The Wild Life” drew its theme, in part, from the poet Mary Oliver. Her work, “A Summer Day,” provides instruction for youth at the beginning of their life and reflection for those of us well into the living of our days. May it be your reflection this day.

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