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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Be idle and blessed....

Jul 29, 2014 03:55AM

Dear Readers,

 I love the words of poet, Mary Oliver, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” In the oft-quoted piece, The Summer Day, Oliver talks of the grasshopper and the black bear. She ponders what one can do on a perfect summer day but to “be idle and be blessed.” Recently, my summer days are not so blissful but full of meetings, phone calls and editing sessions. All for the good and all deeply satisfying, but different from those days when I had nothing but time on my hands to jump from to rock, climb trees and drop a fishing line off the dock.

What draws me back to Oliver’s poem this year is the central question around which the work is based—“what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” That question comes to me as I read this month’s feature articles on transformative education.

As the child of public school teachers, I came to appreciate the craft of teaching and the art of learning. When I was six, my best friend, Linda, and I played school in her backyard with lined up stuffed animals as our pupils. In high school, I reveled in the engagement with my teachers and am still in touch with some of my favorite. My parents exemplified the idea that a good teacher can make a tremendous difference in the life of a student. Education has been a significant part of my life, including the 16 years it took me to complete my doctoral studies.

 While this issue might be considered our “back to school” issue, I believe the focus is greater than the fact that the new school year is almost upon us. The possibility of transformational education, which comes by way of innovative learning methods and practical concepts such as Open Space Technology, has the potential to change how we, as a human race, can be transformed through new thoughts and ideas. For every new reality show that dwells in the mire of conflict and drama, there seems to be a new path to fresh ideas found in collaboration with others, through the Internet and in local community groups. With those choices, to answer Oliver’s question, I choose to continue to see new opportunities for transformation. Learning is a lifelong endeavor. Our feature article this month will help you discern that path, if that be your choice as well.

I also wanted to share a very exciting development with our readers. Natural Awakenings DC is partnering with Dawson’s Market in Rockville for the first (of many) Healthy Living Expos this coming October 12. The date is set and we are starting to fill out the program and lists of vendors, so stay tuned. Mark your calendar for this free event and we will supply more information as the details are confirmed.

 In these waning days of summer, I hope you take the time to consider Mary Oliver’s brilliant question of what to do with your wild and precious life—and then to take a moment to “be idle and be blessed.”

With great joy –


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