What’s on your Bucket List?

Are there things you want to do before you die?  Are you feeling time is running out?  Well, I do, but…I procrastinate.  I delay the things in life that are important to me.  Don’t you?

I have a long list, my Bucket List if you will, of things I would like to do, but don’t.  Things I need to do, but won’t.  Things I dream of doing, but don’t dare.  I have much I want to do, do, do!  Don’t you?

But I get migraines, (probably over this procrastination busines), migraines that are more likely due to the fun, middle-aged, hormonal fluctuations in the body.  I am 50 sista!

I get frustrated, agitated, restless over this.  I find myself working at 40% capacity instead of what I am truly capable of.  I know I am not alone in this.

What else?  I want to get in perfect shape!  The emphasis is on perfect!  I want desperately to change what’s wrong with the world, and there’s plenty! I want to give more than I can possibly give.  I basically want to ride hard, like a fly on steroids, until I hit the wall.

My bucket list is long.  Did I mention Greece?  I want to go to Greece.  Take my boys to Argentina. Read the wikipedia from A-Z.  But the procrastination hits again, even the migraines and I feel tired, depleted, resigned.  (Did I mention I do have two young boys? So, maybe I’m busy doing that–oh, yeah!) Still…

The Barn Owl (Tyto Alba) - You Talkin' to me? ...
The Barn Owl (Tyto Alba) – You Talkin’ to me? – (Photo credit: Axel.Foley)

I call a friend.  We talk about each other’s lives and we laugh over it all.  I start to relax and feel human again.  I take a drive through the back roads of Sonoma to cool my jets and what do I see? I see a Barnyard owl looking at me! Wise and still, as if asking, “Are you talking to me?”

“Yes, yes I am!” But before I can ask the questions that lie in my heart, he just stands still for me.  He stands still.

I felt a deep and tremendous peace, at one with something larger than myself, aware of my natural surroundings.  The owl said with its eyes, “Listen to the quiet, the stillness.  Now.”

I have only now and to waste any moment of this life on tomorrow, is fiction at its finest.  It’s okay to slow down, it’s ok to rest, it’s okay to be still.  Right?

Nature reminds me to plant my pumpkins and watch them grow, stare at the barnyard owl and be in awe, marvel at the diamond lit skies and wake to the warming sun, and wait for the opening of a flower.

The soul reminds me to write what matters to me, read poetry that stills my heart, taste a juicy strawberry from the garden, walk a long walk until I’m a good kind of tired, hug my boys tight, say good night to my mother and father.

There is no nirvana around the corner.  There is only here and only now.  How cliche’ right?  But with all this texting, tweeting, ping-ponging, jabbing and poking, e-mailing, calling, crying and suffering, are we really living in the now?

In honor of now, and in honor of nature, I share a poem from Mary Oliver:

In Blackwater Woods

by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars

of light, are giving off the rich fragrance of cinnamon and fulfillment,

the long tapers of cattails are bursting and floating away over the blue shoulders

of the ponds, and every pond, no matter what its name is, is

nameless now. Every year everything I have ever learned

in my lifetime leads back to this: the fires and the black river of loss whose other side

is salvation, whose meaning none of us will ever know. To live in this world

you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it

against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to

let it go, to let it go.