“Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
I think I get the inspiration that Thoreau must have felt in his time on Walden Pond . . . at least for a few moments. Being on a lake in solitude in the quiet early morning is both calming and inspiring. It is beautiful to watch the mist lift like a veil to reveal a new day. To see a crane take flight brings an awareness of all of creation surrounding us. It reminds me that we are all unique, with distinctive strengths, even when some seem odd or ungainly. Ducks flying overhead and finding a place to settle reveals the need for companionship, working together and communication. Fish jump and disappear again, leaving concentric circles radiating outward touching objects far from them.
I have never considered myself to be philosophical or a deep thinker but more a pragmatist, although some would disagree. I have recently had the privilege of being allowed to participate in the 2015 class of Roaring Fork Leadership. The first session was a two day workshop on “Conscious Leadership,” with Greg Cortopassi. For me, the emphasis is on the conscious part. I tend to go through life by rote: work, home, meetings, food, sleep, repeat. To say that I was put a little out of my comfort zone is a huge understatement.
I am still trying to assimilate and process the information. Among other things, the challenge to us was awareness. This includes awareness of our surroundings, of our being and of our effect on those around us. Through various exercises I realized that, as much as I would like to think I do, I don’t control the universe. I do, however, have an affect on it. The decisions I make, what I do, how I act and react impact not only me but my family, my coworkers and employer and my community. I must be deliberate and aware in my actions, choosing wisely.
As I said, I have never considered myself to be philosophical, but sitting alongside a beautiful lake as the sun rises, I find myself thinking about Henry David Thoreau. As I process the information I received a week ago, the following quote from a very young man sitting by a lake in an area very similar to where I am today seems to fit the outlook of a not-so-young lady.
“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”
—Henry David Thoreau
Each day is a miracle. Be thankful. Go affect the quality of your day and the day of others.