I will tell you this. I’ve spent many days ungrateful. I’ve found myself in the most extraordinary places, although I was completely lost. In my most complicated messes, I’ve witnessed the simple beauty of life. Life comes to us fragile, trembling, full of promise. We often disregard it. Or minimize it. Or forget to realize how easily broken it can be, and how much of a joy it should be.
I often catch myself experiencing the best days of my life with lackadaisical attitude. What a horrible posture to take. Life is really here to teach us, enchant us, mature us… My ungrateful response is immature at best. I’ve decided that joy is the posture of those who have attained the secret to life. Appreciation of life is a decision, and for some of us, like me, it requires a daily commitment. Daily appreciation of the beauty that is presented to us in each moment.
Life is filled with redemption. Every breath gives us new hope. Every year reminds us of this. The past never really matters for long. The only thing that matters is what you do with this moment.
This moment may signify a new year, but long into 2009, each moment you encounter will still be new. Each moment comes to you as an evangelist of opportunity.
When I was a little girl… on car trips, I would imagine myself going the opposite direction. For a long time, it was very difficult to change my perspective, but over time, it became easier, and now it’s a simple trick for me. This trick, I think, helped me to see things from the other side. It developed my empathy, as odd as that seems. Seeing one road from both angles, and quite honestly, roads are more alike than they are different.
In the hairy savannas of far, far away
There once lived a hunting dog who wanted to play
Instead of searching for food with other dogs
Mumbi curiously observed hopping frogs.
Instead of bringing back food to feed the ill
Mumbi hunted for fun, and followed the thrill.
Mumbi was always distracted, but never meant wrong
He was even distracted when wrong came along!
One day, Mumbi’s mom gave him a specific mission,
“On the next hunt, you have a very important position.
You must watch out for any lions ahead,
and if you see them, tell your brothers to spread!”
You see, dogs and lions did not ever agree,
and when they saw lions, dogs would often just flee.
So the fun-loving Mumbi was eager to show
he was able to protect his brothers from woe.
So, the fun-loving dog started on his way
When Banana, the monkey, asked him to play.
“I can’t play today”, he said to Banana,
“I must scout out for lions in the savanna.”
“The lions won’t bother you,” said Banana, with glee,
“The whole pride of lions is asleep under that tree.”
Mumbi, relieved to hear Banana’s good news,
decided to play, there was nothing to lose.
The two journeyed along underneath the trees
following adventure wherever they please.
When twilight came, Mumbi decided to return
He found his mother at home with tears of concern.
Mumbi explained what he did with his day
about sleeping lions, and deciding to play.
“My foolish Mumbi,” his mother then sighed,
“Because of your playing, your brothers died!”
Mumbi didn’t believe her, so he went on his own
to search for his brothers, but all he found was a bone.
Moral: Don’t play until the work’s done.