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Begin Every Day

If I flinched at every grief, I would be an intelligent idiot.
If I were not the sun, I would ebb and flow with sadness.

If you were not my guide, I would wander lost in Sinai.
If there were no light,
I would keep opening and closing the door.

If there were no rose garden,

where would the morning breezes go?
If love did not want music and laughter and poetry,
what would I say?

If you were not medicine, I would look sick and skinny.
If there were no leafy limbs in the air,
there would be no wet roots.

If no gifts were given, I would grow arrogant and cruel.
If there were no way into God,
I would not have lain in the grave of this body so long.

If there were no way from right to left,
I could not be swaying with the grasses.

If there were no grace and no kindness,
conversation would be useless, and nothing we do would matter.

Listen to the new stories that begin every day.
If light were not beginning again in the east,
I would not now wake and walk out inside this dawn.
— Rumi, Wake and Walk Out

Perhaps the rain has kept me from waking earlier than normal today. Perhaps the grogginess that accumulates inside over a long and productive week is best expressed with sleeping in. Or perhaps it was staying up late, not wanting the day to end, conceding it at last as the calendar turned to a new day. Perhaps… or surely it was all of those things.

No matter if later than before, we must rise once more. There’s work to be done each morning, to set up the day for success, whatever that means to each of us. Life is about meeting our purpose and being productive with our time to fully realize our potential. Nothing matters but this dance with life.

And what is life? It’s the stories we write in these moments of clarity and awareness, days stacked one upon the other, until we cease beginning. Is every story a page-turner? Of course not, but doesn’t it help set up the next chapter?

Each morning I’m struck by the wonder of being, but isn’t that wonder grounded in the awareness of ending? Our story will end. That may be someday, or it may be today, but it isn’t just yet. Knowing this, don’t we owe it to ourselves to properly rise to meet this day?

In this quest to be more productive and purposeful, sometimes we don’t see the things that sparkle in our days. Things like poetry and a walk through the garden and the tickle of the breeze. What is a breeze but the change of the air? So it is with us, feeling the tickle of change within us. We must always be aware of the sparkle, and lend it our light, that it may offer reflection.

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