A check in on Slow - To be idle and Blessed

Back in January I picked a word for the year.  Slow.  I made 2014 The Year of Slow.  Wanting to take my time, be in the moment, suck all the nectar to the last drop with full recognition of all it's goodness.  I remain convicted of how I wish away the now when the days are hard or I'm caught in a moment of panic frustration.  My desire to be still, wait, watch, breath, and live the here.  Here is where I am.  Here is blessed.

A third into the year and I have a lot to learn about slow yet.  Because I have always been quick.  And certainly quick to forget the promises to myself of yesterday.

The name of my blog.  Wild and Precious. This end of Mary Oliver's poem has always been glued to me.  But just today, I reread the poem top to bottom for the first time since the first time.  Years ago.

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, The Summer Day]

Poetry and balm.  Begging me to slow.  How to be idle and blessed.  Pay attention.  Fall down in the grass. Live life as a prayer.  As an offering.  Attention to The Creator.  

This feels like grace.  Grace to give up my not enoughs and my can't waits.  Instruction for ponderous still.  Looking for His magnificent presence in the present.  Seeking His wondrous works not just in the springtime cherry blossoms, but in the flat tires and the diaper blowouts of life.

What else should I have done?

Psalm 46:10 -- Be still / Cease striving... and know that I am God.  I will be exalted!*

It's in the slow that we are in position to exalt our Creator and Savior.  The one who was and is and ever shall be on the throne.

*English Standard mixed with New American Standard versions of the Bible.  Emphasis added by me.


  1. oh my goodness blair. we are one and the same. i do everything fast-- it's my nature -- yet i know, without a doubt, that i am called to be slow-- to be idle and blessed.

    thanks for your wise words. xo

  2. love this, blair. thank you for the much needed reminder - to slow down and pay attention...to see the many, many things to be grateful for.


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