The other night I stayed up past my bedtime, which happens often and generally leads me to resent having to brush my teeth. Sometimes, though, when I’m too tired to be useful, small epiphanies arrive. On this particular night, a peaceful feeling bubbled up and with it a thought: maybe the little things we do in the morning are enough.
Morning isn’t really complicated. Many of you may have figured this out already. Tasks tend to repeat on a daily basis: shower, brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast. Remarkable.
The thing is, I have a little reality problem. In the evening, I arrive home around six. My evening to-do list generally reads something like the following:
- Sell novel
- Clean entire house
- Cook dinner
- Play with cat
- Answer all emails
- Go to bed by 9:30
This list produces mostly guilt and a doomed attempt to stuff the unfinished items into the following morning. My vanmates can attest to the success of this approach.
I did not invent the possibility that getting dressed and eating breakfast is enough. Wise people have been telling the rest of us that for a large chunk of human history (most notably for me Paula D’Arcy, Kathleen Norris, and William Stafford). But despite hearing them say it, I’ve practiced it precious little.
The word “enough” often connotes just the opposite for us Americans. “Enough” in this case means “holy,” not “only.” Which inevitably raises the specter of the G word: God.
About God: I do not claim to know how you should call that power or connection or love, how you should interact with it, or even whether you should believe in it. The previous admissions make clear my lack of qualifications for that judgment. I will write only about my sense of and experience with God. Please translate freely into any language or frame of reference that helps you.
In my way of relating to this existence, God gave me a tiny taste of what it would feel like to honor daily tasks, an enticement, a temptation. If I could welcome the morning instead of launching myself against it, that peaceful feeling might seep into the rest of the day and, one can hope, outward to those I meet.