Philosophy | Seasons | Stoicism

Drink Up Before the Dregs

“Lay hold of to-day’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon to-morrow’s. While we are postponing, life speeds by. Nothing, Lucilius, is ours, except time.” – Seneca

“What is the state of things, then? It is this: I do not regard a man as poor, if the little which remains is enough for him. I advise you, however, to keep what is really yours; and you cannot begin too early. For, as our ancestors believed, it is too late to spare when you reach the dregs of the cask. Of that which remains at the bottom, the amount is slight, and the quality is vile.”
– Seneca, Letters From a Stoic

We had our first frost of Autumn overnight. The fog rising from the ponds this morning betrays warmer days conceding to cooler nights. In New Hampshire the leaves will soon turn progressively to bright yellow, red and orange before turning brown and returning to the earth to fuel the next generation. Such is the cycle of life.

Early mornings trigger my adventurous spirit. I have the most energy and a willingness to dare greatly. By 9:30 – 10 PM I’m generally running on fumes and ready to call it a night. While I’m not old just yet, I suppose I’m the opposite of youth in this respect. Certainly the opposite of the rest of my household. And if a day is a lifetime, I reach the dregs sooner than most. But I started so much earlier in the day savoring that first sip (metaphorically, of course). I honor the Thoreau quote on the home page whenever possible, seeking adventures, but mostly I rise early.

Seneca’s Letters From a Stoic is a call to action written almost 2000 years ago and still ignored by the vast majority of people in their lifetimes ever since. Nothing is ours but time! Keep what is really yours, for you cannot begin too early. Savor this very moment, such that it is, and make of it what you can. That is the eternal challenge for each of us. To spend wisely this moment. And each day offers reminders to get to it already.

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One Comment

  1. Absolutely! We are all born rich with a full cask wealth of time. Spend it wisely, fully, and reap the benefits of your investment, by filling your life with a bounty of experience and cherished accompaniment.

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