June is a month of endings and of beginnings. Graduations, proms, the last exam of the year, and the dreaming of things to come. I was listening to Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her podcast Wiser Than Me and she mentioned a poem that her mom, also a poet, shared with her. She said it gives her goosebumps and it did the same for me. It is called First Fall by Maggie Smith. She wrote:
“I’m your guide here. In the evening-dark
morning streets, I point and name.
Look, the sycamores, their mottled,
paint-by-number bark. Look, the leaves
rusting and crisping at the edges.
I walk through Schiller Park with you
on my chest. Stars smolder well
into daylight. Look, the pond, the ducks,
the dogs paddling after their prized sticks.
Fall is when the only things you know
because I’ve named them
begin to end. Soon I’ll have another
season to offer you: frost soft
on the window and a porthole
sighed there, ice sleeving the bare
gray branches. The first time you see
something die, you won’t know it might
come back. I’m desperate for you
to love the world because I brought you here.”
‘I am desperate for you to love the world’ is a thought that comes to mind when I think of my children. The average moments. The new adventures. The triumphs and the heart breaks. To put yourself out there no matter the consequences and cherish every second. Embracing it all is what adds up to a good life.
As author Annie Dillard said, “There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading — that is a good life.”
As the blank pages stretch out before you, may you write your story like only you can. This month and every month, the world is worth loving and may you see that magic each day.