“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
The first time I read those words, I had long blonde hair instead of short steel-colored waves. I wore contacts instead of glasses, known to swallow one by accident if it needed moisture. I moved quickly across campus, my body strong and slender, though I felt more fear of it than love for it. Life was full of possibility in the midst of confusion, and those words became an anthem of hope.
They are still, gratefully. Much has changed, much has not. My children are adults in a world filled with unrest and cries for change. My body reminds me of its important place in my life, and now I listen….grateful we are working together. I have learned to slow down, to honor my inner life, while at the same time carry deep concern for the life we share on our dear Earth.
I recently received encouragement from a friend, “Take care and live each day. We never know when the Light of Home will shine on us.” It reminds me of my years leading the Hospital of St Raphael’s bereavement program, days and evenings supporting folks in their struggle with loss. In the midst of honoring their sacred journey in grief, my colleagues and I found ourselves savoring the gift of life itself. Our sense of mortality was heightened, our connection to each new day increased, our trust in God renewed.
Today really is the first day of the rest of our lives! Today, this singular experience unlike any other, is an invitation. We get caught in the mundane routines of life or thrown by the intense joys and sorrows – and we forget. That bit of sunlight on the carpet says, “Come outside, lets play today.” The breeze that cools my skin speaks of comfort and peace. That friend shares a genuine smile and my heart is lifted.
Each moment of this day is an invitation to wonder, each a step into the sacred Mystery. As JD Salinger put it,
“All we ever do our whole lives is go
from one little piece of holy ground to the next…”