“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it is over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” -Mary Oliver
When I read these words they really struck me in an interesting way. So I read them and reread them again, realizing that wherever you are in life – whether it is a place of confusion, joy, contentment, darkness, or anger – these words might actually hold the answer to just about everything. They could be the teacher of a life-altering and completely invaluable lesson…the lesson to welcome wonder and amazement with every ounce of your being, with an open mind and an open heart. A reminder that we should be far more afraid of letting the world pass us by than pondering all of the potential negative outcomes that may or may not result from taking actions based solely on curiosity and bravery. If something negative happens, at least something still happened. More often than not a blind leap of faith will result in an experience worthy of looking back on. A memory you wouldn’t otherwise hold 10, 20, 30 years from now.
Why wait until it’s over when we are here controlling “the now”. The past has come and gone, the only real way we can alter the future is by taking advantage of the present and making the most of it.
When it’s over, I don’t want to look back and wonder what could have been had I done things differently. I want to be proud of the the route I chose, simply because I chose to walk it, without taking too much time worrying about whether or not it was the safe, easy, smart or logical path. I want to take the world into my arms and feel confident that the world will take me back. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t, but I want to keep my arms open. I want to awaken my senses while I am still lucky enough to have them all.
Sure there will be bumps in the road, stairs to climb, rubble to trip and fall on along the way. It’s called life, and its these twists and turns that make it worth living. I want to get up and keep on walking just to see what it is I might find.
photos by Nathen McVittie