“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
A most precious gift began with the rising of the morning sun. The gift of the opportunity to continue our journey for another day. The gift of the freedom of our choice about how we wish to utilize the new day however we so choose. In a blissful world we are often thankful to rise from our slumber to twirl once more before the sun. We are often eager to begin our day with personal tradition and routine. We greet dawn with a renewed vigor and strength, whether it be from a restful sleep or through a personal promise for improvement of any kind.
The hustle and bustle of life is a seemingly real thing. We have bills to pay, children to chauffeur, grass to mow, a house to clean, errands to run, meals to prepare. So often our days are filled with us trying to “get it all done” that we become overwhelmed and are left to settle with “there are not enough hours in a day”. With today’s progression of technology and society’s ever accelerating expectation of response time, we put ourselves into overdrive by sleeping less, eating processed foods that are quick and convenient on the run, and bypassing activities that are beneficial to our health. Before we realize it we have fallen in to a cycle that spins with the fury of a hurricane, a cycle that prevents us from receiving the gift, the cycle that robs the Universe of its gratefulness.
We all try to be grateful, rarely do we make a conscious effort to be otherwise. But what if we reconsidered our grateful actions? Generally we are grateful when we receive a gift and we appropriately show our gratitude toward the giver for it. This giving and receiving is an exchange of love, however large or small it is. In our reality world, the gift of a new day is sometimes not met with such gratitude. Perhaps we overslept and are running late, still tired from a late night watching the game on television, hungover from an evening celebration, or just overwhelmed that it is only Wednesday. Whatever our reason, the gift of a new day may appear as a curse as we begin the day with dread rather than excitement. These are the mornings where we completely miss acknowledging the giving and receiving of the gift and do not feel the exchange of love. We move through the new day caught up on the very same cycle that we ended the day before. Without a shift of mind it is the very same cycle that is likely to continue throughout many more gifts of a new day until we have spun all the way around the sun.
But, what if we are actually not the receiver of the gift of a new day? What if it were the other way around? We so often hear old sayings such as “it’s good to be on the right side of the ground” or “I must be doing something right since I am not six feet under” or my personal favorite “since I am not pushing up Daisies, must be good to be alive”. We generally accept that being alive is a good thing and that having the opportunity to be alive for another day is certainly a gift bestowed upon us. What if the true gift is actually the embrace, the gratitude, the sharing of love for this new day? Perhaps it is we who are the givers of this exquisite gift and the universe is actually the receiver. The true gift being the gratitude that we feel, the gratefulness that we share toward the Universe for this very special new day. The gift of our love that is spread toward and throughout the universe is more powerful than we could possible fathom.
When we remember momentous occasions from our life such as marriage, the birth of our children, or the shiny new bicycle that we received for Christmas as a child we experience a warm happy feeling. We enjoy this feeling. The gift giver also feels this euphoric feeling when giving. Not expecting anything in return, the giver bestows the gift as a message of love. We cannot deny that this feels good. For the moment, there is love shared in the exchange and the gratefulness that both share for this love is the gift. Without the giver and the receiver both acting together there is no true sharing of the gift and the act of love is dismissed.
Our positive reception of the new day that is presented to us is the beginning of our feeling grateful for the opportunity, for another day, to live our life with the free will to do as we choose. The Universe considers our being so great to bestow another day for us to continue our journey. Our greeting this new day with the vigor to rise to the challenges that it presents, to be kind, to live in a manner that is beneficial to all beings and to be mindful of the lessons presented to us is a supreme showing of our gratitude, a wonderful exchange of love between the Universe and ourselves. The Universe is full of greatness and the greatest feeling of being is love. Everyday we have the opportunity to experience this magnificent love and it’s our choice whether or not we do so. One of my favorite songs, and sayings for that matter, by renowned Reggae artist Clinton Fearon is “Living is an Art”. Recognizing the gift of life and sharing our gratefulness for each new day is a blessing that truly goes both ways. If living is indeed an art, perhaps Nietzsche was on point when he said “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude”.
Photo credit, the author. Libby Hill Park, Richmond, VA at sunset.