This is It


We just returned from our annual trip to Ross Lake with Yancey's dad and family. Five days of swimming, fishing, hiking, EATING, magazines, card games. And two spectacular thunderstorms.

Wyatt was clearly in the wonderland of his wildest dreams. He was wet from swimming the entire time, made a raft out of a log, jumped off the rope swing countless times, and even enjoyed a few cold cans of soda. Boating yesterday morning, Yancey told Wyatt he could drive the boat next year. Remember that feeling? That feeling of, "When I'm old enough, I get to ________?" That feeling of waiting for a magical date to arrive or waiting to grow taller, be able to read or drive, get ears pierced or go on a first date.


Then it hit me, in a way it never has before, that there is nothing left to wait for. Now, anything I want to happen in my life requires my own initiative, energy, and resources. I'm not into The Secret, this idea that good happens just because we will it to. There's poverty, racism, disease, war, abuse, discrimination of all sorts that prevents people from having abundant lives. People don't just imagine themselves out of centuries of entrenched, institutionalized unfairness. BUT, the things I dream about achieving, giving, and experiencing in my lifetime--this is the time. The magic day won't ever arrive. These things aren't associated with birthdays, doctor visits, or even credentials anymore. It's a matter of my my own engagement, of living rightly in the world, taking risks, and being diligent.

I know there are aisles full of self-help books on this subject--I am certainly not the first to realize this. But I don't think I really got it until this weekend, sitting behind Wyatt in the boat and watching him look up at the mountain peaks that engulf the lake. This is it, folks. Or, as dear Mary Oliver says,

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?