98: This Very Day

98: This Very Day

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings

This very Day

May you live every day of your life.
~Jonathan Swift

It would take many pages to explain the challenges my husband and I have faced. I have kept a journal for thirty years to help me keep my perspective. Recently I wrote this: Lord, this very day I awoke, alive, here, now—this day. This day I will treat my body with respect. Nourish it well, clean it, protect it. A warm shower, a healthy meal, fastening my seat belt, wearing comfortable shoes … these will be my little acts of respect for this body You gave me—this body You breathed life into at birth and each day including this very day.

This very day I awoke, not alone, but unique as I am, a part of all mankind, each single person also unique. Let me respect the body of humanity and treat each single member as well as I treat my hands, my face, my feet. As I nourish my body let me nourish also the greater body. As I pour milk on my breakfast cereal, let me remember also to pour the milk of kindness on my family, my neighbors and colleagues, the stranger in traffic and souls in distant lands with prayers of compassion and thoughts of understanding.

This very day Lord, I will no doubt feel grains of irritation. Let me, with my degrees, my skills, my “knowledge of life,” not overlook the simple wisdom of the oyster. Let me turn those parasites that would invade my attitude with bitterness or despair into pearls to shimmer in my world, gems to offer others proof that life and hope can conquer depression and fear.

This very day Lord, let me remember to smile, to laugh, to sing, to dance, even if my knees hurt. Let me remember to watch the doves winging past my window, to see the coppery glint of sun on a squirrel’s tail, to listen to the puppy lapping water from his dish. Let me notice the bright vermillion blossom in the ditch even if it is just a “weed.” Let me be amused by bumper stickers on trucks decked in shiny chrome and fat backpacks on skinny teens. Let me, as I walk to the post office, be delighted by babies cooing in strollers and fussing matrons in flowered frocks and the aroma of hot cinnamon buns from the local bakery.

Since I am alive this very day, let me live it!

~Phyllis McKinley

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