So what if the day you are having doesn’t seem like A Good Day? No day can be Good all the time!
I’ve learned much Prairie Wisdom from my friend Daisy Hickman, author of Always Returning: The Wisdom of Place. I have her book on my table TBR (to be read) soon! I hope you’ll check it out by clicking on the link.
I asked Daisy to reflect on what she’s learned about A Good Day from her spiritual journey into place as an author.
I offer Daisy’s essay below as a Pre-Thanksgiving Meditation sent to you from a place special to me — Montclair, NJ — where our whole family has gathered to celebrate and be grateful together.
Just breathing, as the snow falls outside the window, brings me joy. Each out-breath sends joy to you!
Not Quite There Yet
By Daisy A. Hickman
Indeed, it is the perfect time of year to consider gratitude, a good day, and their convergence.
In fact, according to many spiritual teachers, we should feel grateful for each breath without trying to decide if it is a “happy moment” or an “unhappy moment.” The ability to do this must be the mark of true spiritual enlightenment, because I’m not quite there yet.
But I sense movement in that direction, and for that, I’m deeply grateful.
There is a time for evaluation; there is a time for simply breathing in the moment. As I wrote in my book about wisdom: less is more. And certainly less evaluation (judgment, analysis, reaction) is “more” in this context.
In terms of what comprises a “good day” for me—while I wrote this book, the first edition (William Morrow) in 1998; the second edition, just this year—
I believe that every day, on a spiritual level, is a good day.
Not necessarily in largely personal terms, because when I encounter extremely difficult days, I, like you, am reluctant to call them “good.”
But whenever I’m writing, I feel blissfully connected to something that feels timeless, complete, and knowing. Something beyond designations of “good”:
The sights in front of me are in continual flux, but the secret is to look into them to unearth their deeper truths.
–(Always Returning: The Wisdom of Place, 2014).
I grew up in a place (remote prairie lands) that inspired me deeply, and with time’s passage, I realized every place can prompt us to look within – and if we are lucky and intentional, we are always returning to that place.
That is where wisdom resides, not somewhere far-removed from our own realities. But, often, we fail to feel the roots below our feet, because we are so certain what we “need” is somewhere else.
I seriously doubt it.
The lessons of life are more simple than we choose to believe, but we have to stand still long enough, breathe deeply enough, to understand this.
Good is now. Good is everywhere, tucked within each sunrise, each sunset. Every smile, every sigh. Good is even part of tragedy and loss and missing people no longer with us on days we label as “special.” Days like Thanksgiving.
When we finally discover the true depth of each day, however, they are ALL special. No need to differentiate, no need to evaluate and consider and decide. And definitely no need to “wish” for something else.
As I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope, For hope would be hope for the wrong thing. ~ T. S. Eliot
And although I’m not quite there yet, still growing, like all of us, a certain amount of equanimity graces each moment of my day when I’m able to look beyond rules, expectations, popularized values and beliefs, matters of the ego, and anything else that clouds my inner vision.
Thank you so much, Shirley, for inviting me to share a few words here. May we all come to sense the profound “goodness” of each breath, each day –the challenge of a lifetime.
You can find Daisy at her delightful, highly recommended, website Sunny Room Studio. You can thank her for sharing these thoughts about the good day by leaving a comment below. In what way are you “not quite there yet” in your understandings of any of the following: the meaning of a good day, the wisdom of place, or what it means to be grateful as a daily practice of Thanksgiving?