You, Reading This, Wake Up and Be Thankful

snowdusk2This time of year is filled with contradiction: the holidays speeding everyone up, adding on piles of work, worrisome quantities of obligation — the weather turning slow, static. The grey skies sliding by in subtle gradients, darker grey in the morning, lighter grey at noon, shading back deeper and deeper into darkness. The brightest moments of the day often happen right before sunset.

Too easy to be lulled into a shadow sadness; a scratchy irritability; a limited-horizon, dark-infused bleakness. Instead, a chance to be thankful, to remember this huge gift of awareness. Wake up!

You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life –

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around? 

~William Stafford

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