Poetry | Philosophy | Stoicism

Trusting Dawn

The brain burrows in its earth
and sleeps,
trusting dawn, though the sun’s
light is a light without precedent, never
proved ahead of its coming, waited for
by the law that hope has made it.
– Wendell Berry, The Design of a House

We all trust in dawn, and the fresh beginning it offers us. And now that it’s here, why are we so audacious as to expect another tomorrow? There are no guarantees in life, we all know this. Yet we assume the dawn.

What would we do if we knew this was the last day? The last time you’ll turn thoughts into words? The last time you’ll speak to someone? The last opportunity to say what must be said, what must be done, or what must be undone?

Living every moment as if it were your last sounds like a nice motivational poster, but let’s face it, it can be exhausting. To function we have to place a bit of faith in a future that’s mostly like the one we have today, if maybe incrementally better (whatever that means in our heads). To thrive we must believe in exponential improvement and a world that embraces what we gingerly place on the table before it. We trust in our beliefs either way.

Maybe it’s best to hedge our bets. To boldly advance towards our dreams but linger in a hug a beat longer. To plan the big trip but celebrate the quiet walk in the local woods as the leaves remind you of the season at hand. To trust in the dawn but verify the moment. Here, it seems, is where hope meets happiness.

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