I’m going to invent and implement a new casual salutation.
Instead of “good afternoon”, “good night”, “good evening” (and especially replacing :Have A Nice Day!”) I’m going to say “Good Gift!”.
Each day is a gift. A magic moment in time. Each a thing of singular beauty and a work of art. Each one a finite resource.
This is hardly a new concept. It goes back at least as far as Horace’s famous “Carpe Diem”, or “seize the day”.
Really there’s more to it than just “seizing the day”. Great advice, but this puts the onus on You. You are charged with the responsibility to grab the opportunity to DO. You are admonished to “quam minimum credulo postero”, don’t count on the future or wait ’til tomorrow.
“Good Gift” simply reminds you to enjoy this day, this gift. To appreciate its rarity. It’s not necessary to be super-productive, take advantage of every moment, put minimum credence in tomorrow or even live in the now moment.
Enjoying The Gift relies on simple awareness. It can be as little and basic as seeing the sunset, remarking the morning star, or breathing deep and marveling at the smell of snow in the air.
Here on the Armchair Zen Tick Ranch, it often means taking the time to take those long walks with our ever-present Wonderdog Chuy (as often as not followed by Doone the Cat, who may think she’s a dog). Perhaps we’ll shoot a few photos of the trail.
Sometime’s it’s just taking notice of the simple wonderous treasures we encounter in our everyday lives.
The taste of fresh morning coffee. The thrill and chill of frost on the windshield.
The morning show, as the sun climbs its way over the horizon. Sometimes muted, overcast and gray. Sometimes blazing red, with spires shooting skyward for miles. Sometimes cool, clear, bright and blue, perhaps a few glistening flakes of snow.
There’s a load of little faces peering out the windows of the bright yellow school bus. Some are excited to get to their first grade holiday party or work on their Science Fair project. Others, older kids, are lost in thought, preparing for or worrying about the big test of the day.
There’s a flock of geese flying parallel to the highway. We can clock their amazing airspeed: 55 miles an hour. We can wonder where they’ve come from, where they’re going. Perhaps Hudson Bay on Sunday, The St. Lawrence on Wednesday, fly over Engleville Friday on the way to the Chesapeake Bay and beyond to Mexico.
There are small triumphs: Making it to payday with the coin jar money. Not smoking cigarettes for another day. Not getting agitated by traffic. Remembering to value the gift. Updating my blog. Accepting whatever the day brings with an Armchair Zen calm. A small kindness, given or received.
There’s the Chipping Sparrow, a tiny delicate glimpse of nature’s beauty, hopping around the stack of skids and the dumpsters at work.
There’s the hole in the sky, bringing a bright yet brief spotlight of sun into the middle of a dull, overcast, gray day.
There’s the taste of lunch. A smile from a friend. A handshake hello or thank you. There’s the voice of your loved ones on the phone.
The chance to send a surprise gift to someone. Laughter.
Feeding the cat. Loading the woodstove. Dinner. My comfy chair. A warm home.
A place and time where I feel content and loved. A soft bed.
And before I know it, another Gift is done. Another wonderous day of seizing and seeing. Another one-of-a-kind work of art, the likes of which the world will never see again.
“Thanks for the great Gift!” we say to the cosmos. I lay me down to sleep with the excitedness of a child on Christmas Eve.
I can’t wait to open tomorrow’s gift!
Good Gift to all!
And for those following the Julian calendar, Happy New Year!