When life and you choose one another mutually, there is only room left for an existence of celebration.
This morning I woke hours before dawn... before the first rooster’s crow. The jungle surrounding me hums and reverberates as I shuffle to my colorful outdoor kitchen and sleepily make myself some coffee in the dim light. After lighting some incense, I situate myself on the colorful wood-carved daybed on my patio and open one of my favorite books to the same page I’ve left it on for weeks now.
“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what your duty is better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self Reliance.
These lines I’ve read and re-read repeatedly... upon waking.... before I sleep and dream... and I read them again, slowly, this dark, humid morning.
Now the roosters have begun.
I allow these timeless lines... words... spells... to sink into my being; Again. More. Deeper.
My eyes well with tears of joy. Of aliveness.
“Look at my life,” the observer in me softly whispers.
“Think of what you have planned for this glorious day, in a land that foreigners consider paradise! Think of where you were only a few days ago. Think of whose messages and love and support you wake to each morning from the other side of this earth. Think of where you were a year ago. Two years. Three. Five. Ten. And look, see who and where you’ve become. This is what it feels like when you choose life back. Life has always chosen you - since conception. Patiently waiting, with no actual expectations, for the time that you might choose it back. This is love - shared. Love amplified. This is cause for the greatest of celebrations - only ending when death inevitably chooses us. In the meantime, what will you and life choose to create together? How alive are you living your life? Are you just existing in limbo? Self made purgatory?”
It is still dark, but I can discern a tiny bit more depth through the jungle leaves. And from the temple down the dirt road, I can hear the morning prayers being chanted by those (assumingly) dedicated to embracing each dawn-to-come with reverence that again, today, we’ve woken here, and that is never a given. Death did not choose us yet.
A flower doesn’t hide from its own beauty. What kind of existence would that be? What utter disregard and rudeness.
It blooms with no hesitation, only moment by moment pushing, yearning, unfolding toward greater embrace of its life, until life no longer chooses this specific iteration of manifestation.
How do you choose to celebrate?
I’ve run out of time for the rest of what I wanted to do this morning. Writing this took the place instead. And I am grateful.
I close my book, still on the same page, for me to enjoy reading again tomorrow.
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