“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Who am I? A freckle-faced girl from small-town New Hampshire. A daughter, sister, wife and friend. A musician, a student, a classmate, a colleague, a confidant.

None of this entitles me to anything that I am about to say. But that, in truth, doesn't bother me. For what good is a life lived too carefully?

I will love - fiercely, truly, deeply.

I will be a shelter in the storm when those I love are lost, blinded with grief or rage or fear.

I will find a sad, ashamed little girl and tell her, "You are strong. You are wise. You are beautiful. And you can rise." And I will teach her how.

I will seek out stories of truth - the variegated, raw, lovely and personal truths of our lives. I will celebrate the beauty that I find.

I will question that which I do not understand and learn from the answers.

I will find the courage to speak when others fall silent.

I will sing - of our joys, sorrows, hopes and fears.

I will try - for you, my dear - to make the song of my love come true in this world.

— Rebecca Garrison Greenawalt