Many things have been written and said about the gift of a day and how we live that gift. What if it were the last, some ask? Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow… What if you had a week, a month, a year to live? How would you use the gift(s)? And on. No one knows the day or the hour; we only know it is always in the future until the last breath, or the heart beats for the last time. All of this is a part of the great freedom we have been given at our birth to be all that we were created to be. That is the gift. Freedom to choose what we do in the minutes, hours, days, and months in our life bank.
This day is the gift. Certainly the days after Easter are good days to think again of new life. The great gift of the resurrection should only remind us to look at the opportunities around us to begin anew, to think positively, and to live each day with the gratitude, zeal and service it deserves.
As I walk to the end of the driveway, I encounter the effort of the iris blossoms now opening a little more each moment. It is as if they are trying so hard to open before my eyes. They push against the enfolding petals to open to the glorious color they are intended to be. What a lesson for me. Each moment requires my best effort to know that I was created no less than the iris to push against the things that would keep me from all that I can be, from enfolding to the beauty intended.
Some daffodils and narcissus are trying to stay just a little longer; then they will center their attention on increasing the size of their dormant stage, the bulb, only to be twice as big for next spring. They will not forget. Nor will I. As I walk to the end of the driveway next spring, I will look for them, and I will smile back at the first daffodil that opens its smiling face for me.
As I continue my walk, I stop to see the giant patch of nasturtiums extending their vines to claim more territory for more gorgeous orange and yellow blossoms.
Around the corner, the orange trees are loaded with beautiful white blossoms; the air is fragrant with their perfume. It is such an elegant fragrance. Some blossoms have already dropped to the driveway. One could be sad, but the departure of the blossoms heralds the presence of little green bumps where the blossoms were. These little bumps will soon grow to be the elegant oranges against their beautiful green dense foliage. Orange trees with blossoms or oranges are equally beautiful. They will become what they were created to be unless things that hinder their development interfere–bugs, disease, a trimming shears, or an entity has decided otherwise.
As I proceed to the south side of the house, I enter rose territory. The foliage is so red it is hard to see red rose buds competing with the dark foliage. Those first rose buds seem so perfect; they are spirited in their message: see I am being all I was intended to be. And I know when I walk by the many different rose bushes, each will be its destined self. Yellows will be yellow, pinks will be pink, whites will be white, and so on. Do I not owe my Creator as much effort to become all that I can be?
The next discovery is a little hummingbird nest resting on the edge of the driveway. Shall I be sad with the thought that some unfriendly neighbor in the air harmed the inhabitants and knocked the nest down? Or perhaps the little former inhabitants have finished with it and the wind blew it down. One thing I know: the tiny little high-speed-flight machines will be true to their destiny; the little marvels will be tasting the nectar in my flowers with their specially designed long beaks.
My daily walks take me out to the end of the driveway the second time as I finish the trek. As I sit at the end of the driveway for a moment, I note that the sky is absolutely clear and blue. It’s like a message to say that nothing can obscure the gift of the day. What you see around you, it says, is confirmation that each day should hold its special efforts, desire, and commitment to be all you were created to be. It must be my covenant with each day. How fortunate I am to be born in my beloved country, the shining city on the hill. How fortunate I am that I was taught early to be self-reliant, diligent, independent in thought and deed by a mother and a father that modeled hard-work, ethical behavior, pride, and cleanliness. Respect, dignity, honesty, and integrity were lived. Money was not the object of goals, nor was it ever an excuse for not achieving goals. The American Dream was open to become my dream because America was created to assure the freedom to dream my own dreams.
Freedom!!! That’s the gift for each of us for each day. We must cherish it, protect it, fight for it, live it, and never allow anyone to distort the two freedoms that come to us each day–the freedom from our Creator to become all we were created to be, and the freedom assured us by our Founders in our founding documents.