“Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
If you have read any of my posts or my book, you know I am intrigued by the deeper meaning behind the words that we use every day. Looking at the etymology or origins of words often takes a concept we thought we knew and gives it new life. It comes closer to us.
One word I have been thinking about lately is incarnation–the act of being made flesh, to embody (to be in a body). It comes from the Latin word caro, which means flesh. We are made–which suggests we have little choice in the matter. We come to be, and here’s the twist…it is up to us how we will come into our being-ness. We are given the gift to live this life in these bodies, but what we experience and how we move through life is the gift we give back.
There is a constant motion toward something throughout life yet not always recognizing our interconnection with one another and our natural world. Do we take moments to embody what our lives mean and what we express? Are we awake to the grace that sustains us? It is as Ralph Waldo Emerson poetically stated, “The squirrel hoards nuts and the bee gathers honey without knowing what they do, and they are thus provided for without selfishness or disgrace.” We may not hoard nuts or honey, but we race about trying to accomplish, provide for what we cherish, and gather what is important to us. At the same time, the sun rises, air flows, and resources run in various degrees all over the world. We have a new day that is ours to live no matter what our situation may be. The work of our lives is never finished…we are always on the dawn of a new incarnation.
Now, if this is happening to each of us, it is happening collectively for all of us. That means our communities, societies, and world are at the break of a new dawn every day. We are never finished. While that may seem exhausting, I hope it inspires you to look forward to the possibilities of what we can be. I also wish this message was the one offered in the main-stream instead of the myth of division. Wouldn’t it be incredible instead of talking of civil war, we saw the power of our words and instead embraced civil grace?
Here is a piece of homework that I want you to do–in the next week, pay attention to how many times you hear the word “divided” or “divide.” It is time that we become aware and awake to the subtle message of division we hear and challenge it. We are not a nation or world divided, and those who spread that message have something to gain from it. It is time we embody wholeness and understand that life is a spectrum of experiences. What we pay attention to incarnates and comes into being. Why would we want to spend any focus on division when we can create something better? Why not embody that creative process that seeks solutions instead of watching for every disaster? We begin to collect that which sustains us, and we become a gift for each other. Living mindfully, we can transform not only ourselves at a personal level in our body, mind, and spirit, but we also can manifest something more significant for our world that makes space for it all.
A new day is dawning. Your ideas and your being are essential to this journey; otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. Imagine life as a potluck party where we all bring something to share. What is the gift that you incarnate? What is the gift you will share? The morning star will be here again and again to remind us that our presence is needed each day. Let’s build a bigger table so there is space for all.
Photo credit: Edwin Williams Photography at Chadds Peak Farm for one of our dinner parties before the pandemic. We hope to gather soon! We miss being with all of you!