This I Believe
I believe in mornings.
Let others lie abed gathering to themselves the last whispers of sleep, the last unfettered dreaming of the day. I believe there is nothing finer than the first light of dawn, with its energy and its stillness, with its waking dreams that lead to something real. I like the way my mind feels when it is fully rested and chockfull of ideas. I like the way insights come together like the pieces of a puzzle, until a picture declares itself with ease. I like the fact that I am alone in the unfiltered early light, undistracted by the noise of interaction, not yet required to notice other people or respond to their demands.
You can have the most interminable night of your life and morning will still come. You can be waiting for news from afar about whether your mother will live or die after her stroke, and morning will still come. You can ache with unremitting sorrow or despair, you can contort and throb with incessant pain, and morning will still come. You can rock a writhing, fevered child who will not be soothed without ever dropping your head in sleep, and eventually morning will come. You can feel the hot breath of bankruptcy breathing down the back of your neck or hear the footfalls of undeserved disgrace stop just outside your door, and morning will be there when you step outside, waiting with a serene smile and a cool cloth to damp down your own hot fear.
Mostly I love mornings because they are metaphors for mercy. No matter what you have done, how hungry you have been, hungry enough to go beyond all bounds of reason and all the parameters of your own best self, mercy tells you that you can have one more chance. No matter how deeply you might have hurt someone, either out of pure malice or the failure of integrity, mercy gives you a fresh slate and invites you to begin again. No matter how good you have become at rationalization, until you have convinced yourself that all the things you want for yourself are possible, and the consequences won’t matter, not even one little whit, your sorriness is overlooked once again.
Mercy is as reliable and unreasonable as the dawn of every new day. It chooses no favorites. It discerns no differences. It opens eyes. It causes awe to rise. It is the freedom song that every heart longs to hear.
I believe mornings hold the power to change the world. Once you have seen gray turn to gold under the sun’s tutelage, once shadows become shapes you can touch, once you realize you have received mercy one more time, you find it harder and harder to hold onto your grudges. You remember how to breathe again, and you forget how it feels to be afraid. Your step has a bounce in it and your stride is long, and before you know it you begin to notice that everyone you see looks a lot like the face that greets you in the mirror every day.
After that, last thing you want to do is go to war all over again.
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