Whenever you can (which, I concede, for the vast majority of us will mean “almost never”), try and greet each dawn the same way, for each dawn is the same. That is to say, each dawn is worth no more and no less than any other. It is only our perceptions of them – our appreciation or indifference, our recognition or lack thereof – that changes day to day. It is only our subjective interpretations of what our day will or might hold that leads to any wish on our part to delay its inevitable arrival.
Even encountering the final dawn, which shall come for each of us individually if not ever all of us at once, its value is not diminished any by the fact that none for us shall follow.
Remember, when you can, even if that means almost never, that it’s not that the dawn will happen or the dawn happened again. It’s that, always present tense, light dawns.
As it dawns on this morning, gray clouds skeeting by on their way down their weird incomprehensible journeys, the rays of light fall tenderly upon a hardy little tree high up on the mountain. Yes, it is upon that rarely-mentioned mountain on whose behalf I’ve appointed myself a wizard that the tree lives and grows and, ever facing the east, is set ablaze with the advent of each turn of the rock.
To the extent that it experiences the world, even if not in any directly “conscious” way, it does not approach days and nights and time in terms of advents and climaxes and conclusions. It does not seek, intentionally or otherwise, to push forward or to flee, considers neither its birth nor its death to be better or worse, good or bad.
But from the time it first germinated upon the east-facing ledge, it took things step by step, just a little at a time, gradually growing up as its tough and scrappy roots slowly formed a systemic anchor in the light covering of high-altitude soil covering the magic slabs of Monadnock rock.
Here it is today, greeting our friend the sun the way we all wish we could. It lacks the unyielding firmness that would make it easy to chop down, and none among us could claim to be easily able to pull it from the ground.
Step by step it grows, never in a hurry, always gradually, with all things proceeding in their course.
So at some random moment today – in fact, the more random, the better – I hope you randomly think of this tree and why the tree is so good at being what it is.