How to Love this World

posted in: Nature, Photography | 2

how to love this worldThe poet, Mary Oliver, says, “There is only one question: how to love this world.”

It’s a great question especially now.

As I listen to the daily news I often think, “We live in a crazed world. How did this happen? How can I love this world?”

Every day I hear news of new terror attacks, political scandals, increasing racism, hatred and violence, famines, floods, murders, and other sad and scary things. And I am tempted to give in to despair about the horrible cruelty, violence, greed, and ignorance of the human race.

In my times of despair it is difficult to love this world. To protect myself from the pain of it all I am tempted to become cynical and sarcastic, closing myself off from difficult feelings. The problem with that is that when I close off uncomfortable feelings I tend to close off all feelings and numb out—that’s not the way I want to be in this world.

Instead of judging and closing off to the craziness I am working on opening my heart and mind to what life is offering me—to become big enough to let it all in.

When I look around this world at this moment there is beauty in small things and small gestures. I consider my friends and family and know deep in my heart that many humans are full of kindness, generosity, wisdom, and love.

It is up to each of us to speak through our actions and our words about the kind of world we want to create and to stay open to hearing and feeling all of our feelings about this world—the loving kindness and compassion, love, fear, pain, and sorrow.

As I contemplate loving this world I believe that one must also love this life and love each moment in all its perfect imperfection no matter what it holds.

“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” — Mary Oliver

How to love this world

Life is full of mystery and paradox. In nature with all its beauty and grace, life and death are intertwined. I delight in seeing the tiny ducklings on the pond behind our house each spring. When the snapping turtle in the pond reaches up and snatches a duckling swimming on the pond for a meal, I am sad for the loss of the duckling but I cannot fault the snapping turtle for doing what it needs to do to survive. Life feeds on life. Every life is sacred and every life is a part of the whole.

The web of life is beautiful, sacred and full of mystery.

How to Love This World

Embracing the mystery and the holiness of it all is one way that I love this world. Spending time in wild places helps me experience the mystery and sacred wonder.

I find tiny bits of beauty in the world and reflect that beauty out so that all can see it through my photography. That is how I love this world.

I notice the creatures large and small that grace my world with wildness and I give thanks for them. That is how I love this world.

I feel gratitude for the wonder and blessings of trees and plants and that is how I love this world.

I hug my loved ones and listen well to them. That is how I love this world.

How do you love this world?

May you walk in beauty.

2 Responses

  1. carolinesdaughter

    Thank you for another wonderful post, Marilyn. Your photos are beautiful. The one with the greens and blues and the ducks swimming took my breath away. You are amazing. Karen P.S. I’ve shared your posts with friends and they all love them, too.

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