Friday, November 14, 2014

Each Day Provides Its Own Gifts

A gift a found, wrapped up, next to my bicycle this morning

"Each day provides its own gifts." -Marcus Aurelius

As I rolled along on an easy Friday morning commute, I looked up, and saw this. The first sentence that entered my mind was, "Each day is a gift." And what if I always thought that? 

Each morning with a big bow on top, unwrap each sunrise, new and full of surprise and opportunity. 

A fresh start. Wash away any leftovers from whatever came before. 

Release all that I might be holding onto. Let it go. Look at now. Look at this moment in this new day.

Each day is a gift, I thought. And I had some doubts. Each day = every day? They are all gifts? All of them, the sum total of my days, and, also, even the few very bad ones? The classically terrible ones, plus the history-making bad ones, those are gifts? From who? And gift, wouldn't that mean potentially non-essential, or, at least, like a bonus, a gratuity, something extra? But, aren't the sum total of them essential?  And from who, this gift, oh let's not.

Wait, easy there, kid. Deep breath. Inhale the morning. Hold. Exhale. I liked where we were going before the previous paragraph.

Gifts in each evening also

What we can say is, this particular day, this very current one, this next one that came just after the previous, it certainly can be perceived in its fresh, new, just sunrising state, as a gift. Not guaranteed that I would be in it. The previous one could have been the last. 

To be reflect and be grateful for that. To be overcome with the greatness of the opportunity to try again, to learn again, to see and breathe more, to love, to create anew. That's a gift. It's also an antidote.

It's an antidote to the illusion of a build-up of worry, of pain, of stress, or doubt, from before. From yesterday, yesterweek, yesteryear, this gift of a new day is proof against holding onto those things because: unwrap it. You can do anything in it. 

"Discard everything except these few truths: we can live only in the present moment in this brief now." 

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privledge it is to be alive -- to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love."  --both also Marcus Aurelius

As the day wears on and night falls

As the day wears on, though, and as night falls, the fresh sunrise perspective of the day itself as a gift may seem less compelling. In the bright, warm breeze of a balmy Autumn morning the notion has weight, but at the end of a long day, it may feel more conceptual, slightly frayed by the day.

So back to the title of the post. It can be read with ambiguity, like many of his quotes. The nice way, where each day brings gifts unique to it, and one may have to be open to them, perceptive and aware, awake and alive to possibility, to grasp or understand them. I like that.

Also, though, at least in this wording, the quote can also mean that the day doesn't need any gifts or anything from you, it provides for itself. You don't give the day gifts, it provides its own. That's a little harder, but I'm OK with it, too, because in the grander scheme of things outside my little chain circle, it's no doubt true, and meaningful.

Look, a new sunrise. I see it, I feel its heat on my skin. It's a gift of a new start with the chance to achieve something on talent, on chance, on ability. On friendship or love. Different from yesterday, the gifts it provides could be new, different, challenging to see or understand. 

The songs of the birds.

The wind brushing my skin.

This bike ride.

A chance to understand and to fulfill someone's needs.

Those are the gifts of this one day.

Thanks, Marcus, for the thought.

1 comment:

  1. It seems the way we should feel, we just get bogged down by all the little crap sometimes and can't see the big picture.


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