And what will you do
with this unspent year,
these 365 never-before days
unspooling from the wheel as it turns,
neither stopping nor hurrying
despite your self-driven pace?
Will you greet each one
with heart wide open,
seeing all the beauty of this world
as well as its infinite sadness,
the madness and grief woven into
the achingly exquisite texture of a day?
Will you pause…
in your haste for each busy day to be done
for the next special event to arrive,
so that you might taste any moment now
be it bitter, fresh, rich or bland
and let it roll across your tongue
so that you truly know it?
Each new day will never again be here.
Greet it without clinging or aversion
or worse without noticing,
as intimate and near to you as your breath.
Unwrap each day as the gift it is;
be surprised with delight or with disappointment
but do not look away too long
for this one will not come to you again.
I wrote this poem some years ago after being asked if I knew of any poems for the new year. Though there are several, I didn’t know any at the time so I put pen to paper to see what would come and here you have it.
I think, as I read it now, that I was writing what I needed to hear, to slow down, to pay attention, to be more present to each moment. It felt important to speak not only of the beauty of this world but of the sorrow, the delight and the disappointment – life as it is.
As we enter not only a new year but a new decade of possibilities, may you treasure each day as it comes, each new day that will never again be here.