Today is for living (poem)

Author: Michelle Hawkins


I wrote this poem as a bit of a creative protest to academic learning as I came to the end of my masters in Gerontology, which was all about gaining a deep understanding the ageing process and later life. After listening to hundreds of hours of lectures, reading a small library of textbooks, writing copious assignments and a giant disseration, I sat back and relfected.

In this stillness, I began to write. What flowed was a poem that captured the essence of what  really matters as we age and brought together years of learning.  I hope it reminds you of what it means to live a fulfilled and meaningful life and, importantly, why we need to live now as responsible ancestors of the future.


Today is for living

Today I will laugh (a lot)

And cherish time with those I love,

Living here, in the present,

And being aware of all that is.


Today I will learn something new

And seek out new friendships,

Opening my mind to different ideas,

And reflecting on the wisdom of others.


Today I will play outside

And fill my lungs with fresh air,

Feeling the ground beneath my feet

And bathing in the beauty of nature.


Today I will live (and love) without fear

And accept my limitations,

Knowing that change is inevitable

And that death teaches us how to live.


Today I will look inwards and upwards

And feel both peace and awe,

Knowing what brings life meaning,

And that I’ll leave this world

A little better than I found it.


By Michelle Hawkins-Collins


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