New Day. New Year. First Light.

"A certain day became a presence to me;

there it was, confronting me—a sky, air, light:

a being. And before it started to descend

from the height of noon, it leaned over

and struck my shoulder as if with

the flat of a sword, granting me

honor and task. That day's blow

rang out, metallic—or was it I, a bell awakened,

and what I heard was my whole self

saying and singing what it knew: I can."

Denise Levertov

"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

Jim Morrison

December may be dark. And in January the Light begins to return. We hardly notice. It's just a few more minutes each day. We might do well to notice that incremental increase.

I don't get too worked up over a new year. And while I wish that I woke every morning with a sense of gratitude and wonder, I don't. Some days are amazing dawns. Sometimes I wake up with curiosity and some open questions—even an open heart. And some days, in January, I am greeted with new snow and blue skies and I remember that it's lucky grace to wake up at all. But sometimes I do waste the dawn, and the day. And sometimes I push the day away, like it was one day among so many.

One recent Summer I spent nearly 40 days in my tent. My body really did adjust to the cycles of Light. I never missed a dawn—poking my head out of the zippered warmth with some sort of daily wonder. A new day is a very real thing. Sometimes we have to witness the dawn, slowly and quietly, just to remember that simple truth. A new day, or a new year, does not cure ills, absolve injustice, or heal a broken heart. But it is still, for just a moment, a new thing. And with it comes a new life—even if for just a moment.

"See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

and streams in the wasteland."


#Sawtooths #journey #Pilgrim #Trekking #Mountains #discovery

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About Us

Bill Harper, the founder and director of Pilgrim Trekking, has been working with young people in the wilderness for three decades. As an Episcopal Priest Bill developed a parish-based wilderness program for the young people in his own parish, a program that has changed and sustained parish youth for 20 years…


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