I am intrigued by the idea of sharing what I love about living a simple life; about finding joy in the everyday, about the peace in not striving too hard.  I live in a city whose culture is all about living in the moment; about celebrating whether you’re wealthy or a little down on your luck. It’s easy to find sustenance here; with mild weather and abundant and delicious food.  It’s a green place, almost like a jungle, where exotic lizards and butterflies frequent even the most mundane backyards.

My blog title comes from the Mary Oliver poem, The Summer Day.  There’s a story behind this poem for me.  Once upon a time I was an extremely busy teacher.  I started a lot of innovative programs; I taught a lot of terrific children; I cherish multitudes of incredible memories. But at the time I was over-scheduled, over-extended, over-everything, and I had been for quite some time as was practically every citizen of New Orleans. We were in the midst of digging deep to rebuild the city, literally and figuratively, after the devastation of Katrina. We were tapped out.

I had a close friend who was a teacher as well, but also an artist,  a mentor; a creative spirit extraordinaire.  We were circling the new meditation labyrinth at Audubon Park, reading the quotations placed at the benches along the perimeter, and we eventually came to this one:

I spontaneously burst into tears.  My wild and precious life?  My wild and precious life?  What was I going to do?

It was time for a change.  And over the next few years, I eased out of full time employment, dialed back many commitments, took six and a half  months away to hike the Appalachian Trail, and here I am.

I’ve come to value every moment in this wild and precious life of mine, and I’m happiest when I’m staying present and paying attention. It’s really pretty simple.

Note that this blog is no longer active, but you can find what’s currently happening with me by clicking here.



39 Responses to Why?

  1. theconstanttraveller says:

    Love your blog. Good to be reminded how precious life is and how lucky we are just to be alive and breathe. Glad you liked my post 🙂

  2. joejimgregory says:

    What a wonderful sentiment. Thank you so much for sharing.

    – Papa Joe

  3. Michele says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, so that I had the opportunity to explore your two blogs. Love both of them. My husband and I are heading to NOLA at the end of March for a belated honeymoon, so I plan to look around here some more to get ideas of what we should visit.

    • carlaat says:

      Thanks, Michele!

      I hope that the two of you have a wonderful visit! Right now this blog doesn’t do a great job of highlighting the more conventional touristy places, but hopefully there will be something good here to help you get a sense of the city!

      You’ll have such fun – and everyone in New Orleans loves to help visitors find what they’re looking for and give them advice, so don’t hesitate to ask the locals you meet for their take on places to go and things to do. You really can’t go wrong.

  4. Pingback: Stillness Sundays – Mary Oliver | One Wild and Precious Life

  5. ashley nolan says:

    thank you carla. thank you so much!

  6. Pingback: Story Saturdays – How St. Joseph’s Day became one of my favorite holidays | One Wild and Precious Life

  7. M Mauchline says:

    Wonderful reading. Your writings bring back some wonderful memories of time spent in New Orleans, the Felicianas and Pointe Coupee Parish many moons ago. Be well, and continued strength to you, and the residents of The Big Easy.


  8. Charlotte says:

    I have a photo of that plaque on my blog also. I just love your blog and I can’t believe I’m only just now finding it.

  9. Loxi says:

    I love this. Isn’t it funny how something so simple, just a few words thrown together in just the right way, can make all the difference in the world? This quote made me tear up a little as well. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • carlaat says:

      Oh – so glad it spoke to you! I hope the quote sticks with you through your tough times. Good luck with whatever is coming around the bend for you next. Wishing good things for you!

  10. What a lovely quote; thank you so much for sharing it. It’s a simple question, but really profound, too.

  11. Alejandra says:

    What a wonderful line of poetry. I some times write poems, and i might just use that line :P.

  12. mamanne says:

    That’s a fantastic quote! Something we should all pay a little more attention to. Thanks for reminding me.

  13. Pingback: Tips for Writers, Read One Wild and Precious Life « TeacherWriter

  14. Hi Carla,
    This is Carla. I’ve seen that you’ve “liked” my blog several times recently and so decided to visit yours. How lovely! Mary Oliver’s poem is also a significant part of my journey. Nice to “meet” a co-journeyer! Your blog is one that I’ll be visiting a lot.

    • carlaat says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Carla!
      I love your photo and thoughtful daily question. Glad that Mary Oliver’s words also resonate with you.

  15. melsar93 says:

    That has got to be the single best reason I have ever seen to start a blog.

  16. this is beautiful! and i so get it. i recently did the same thing, got out of full time employment and pared down considerably. i am now concentrating on doing what’s in my soul, and just generally what makes me happy. so much more fulfilling! 😀

  17. As the son of a man born and raised in New Orleans, I remember sitting on my favorite uncle’s lap taking sips of Dixie Beer between gulps of oysters on the half shell while still in diapers. The best years of my life were spent running around the woods and swamp in Ponchatoula, and we’d often make the trek across the causeway with the windows down for Mardi Gras and crawfish boils. Your blog brings me back, and I look forward to more vicarious visits.

  18. Anonymous says:

    We should all be as fortunate , to have come upon life’s most precious jewel and recognize it, then follow to where ever it may lead. Too many people stumble upon it then shrug it off. I love your blog . Thank you for sharing your journey. I believe that it gives other people courage .

  19. Love your ‘why’ explanation and what I now know of you! I think you will do well on your new adventure of Life Coaching… Hope to chat with you soon!
    ~ Laura

  20. carlaat says:

    Thanks so much, Laura!

  21. Pingback: Seven Blogs for Seven Bloggers « The Mike/Mitch Project

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