September 11
When I begin to sit with the
dawn in solitude, I begin to
really live.  It makes me treasure
every single moment of life.

Gloria Vanderbilt


Today's Meditation:

Most of us develop patterns very early in life--when we're teens, one of our biggest desires is to be able to stay up late, especially to watch some of the TV shows that are unavailable to us when we're going to bed early.  When we finally are out on our own, we find that many of our contemporaries are out late, trying to make the most of their non-work time.  And staying out late, of course, means staying in bed as long as we can the next morning to get as much sleep as we can.

Because of this, most of us miss the dawns.  Most of us end up on a schedule that really isn't natural to our bodies' rhythms, and we tend to spend the dawn hours still asleep or grumpy.  It is a shame because those hours are among the most peaceful and invigorating hours of the day--sitting quietly while the sun comes up can be an incredibly spiritual experience, though we never will know until we try it.  Most people's experience with dawn includes getting up "earlier than normal," which means that they're not at all in the proper frame of mind to actually enjoy the time.

The dawn, of course, isn't for everyone.  But quiet moments of peace should be.  The dawn offers a beautiful time of the day for us because it tends to be quiet by nature--the world still hasn't started its noise and hustle and bustle that tend to draw us in, keeping us wired and stressed.  If rising early enough to experience dawn--truly experience the peace and solitude that it offers--isn't realistic for you, then it is important that you find some time, somewhere, during which you're able to slow down, be quiet, and be alone so that you can start to feel your connections to the life all around you, rather than always hurrying and worrying and feeling cut off from the rest of the world.

After all, life really does become richer when we treasure every moment.  It's in our act of treasuring the elements of our lives that they actually become the treasures that they have the potential to be.

Questions to consider:

Why do most of us find it impossible to carve out from our day times of peace and quiet?

How can being alone in a peaceful setting at a peaceful time help us to "begin to really live"?

Why does solitude seem so frightening to so many people?

For further thought:

Deliberately seeking solitude--quality time spent away
from family and friends--may seem selfish.  It is not.
Solitude is as necessary for our creative spirits to develop
and flourish as are sleep and food for our bodies to survive.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

More on solitude.


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