Exhortation of the Dawn (by Kalidasa)
Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of beauty
Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation of the dawn!
Words from an ancient text in Sanskrit* by the poet Kalidasa reminding us that “This is the day” (Psalm 118:24). This is the day to live. This is the moment to live. The past doesn’t exist. The future doesn’t exist. Only this moment, right here and right now exists. It’s all we have. How often I miss the moment by living in regret about the past or anxiety about what lies ahead in the future. And then I create even more remorse by regretting in the future that I didn’t live well the past moments!
This is the day. Be aware. Savor the moments. Remember that this is the moment. Live it well. And by all means don’t wish this day away, for in doing so we wish our whole lives away.
(*Sanskrit is the ancient language associated with India. It’s considered the oldest language in the world. Joseph Campbell, the late, great mythologist referred to Sanskrit as, “The great spiritual language of the world.”) This ancient poem echoes themes in the Psalms and present day mindfulness.