This morning, at sunrise, a new bud appeared on the tree. It was born around midnight. The bark, the skin of the tree, split open under the incessant movement of its sap to make room for another life. However, the tree was not listening, was not feeling those movements, that pain. All it did was listen attentively to the whispering of the flowers and grasses that surrounded it. The fragrance of the night was pure and wondrous. The tree had no idea of passing time, of birth and death. It was there, as present as the sky and the earth.
This morning, at dawn, I understand that this new day does not resemble any other, that this morning is unique. We often think that we store away certain mornings for later. But it is impossible. Each morning is special, unique. My friend, how do you find this morning? It is here for the first time in our lives? Is it the repetition of a past morning? My friend, when we are not present, mornings repeat themselves. If we are present in front of life, each morning is a new space, a new time. The sun shines over different vistas, at different moments. Your full awareness is like the moon that bathes in the heart of hundreds of rivers: the river flows, the water sings, the moon travels under the immense dome of the blue sky. Look at that blue color, smile, and let your awareness spring up like the transparent, pure sunlight that caresses the branches and leaves in the early morning.
A morning is not a page that you cover with words and turn over at any moment. A book is a path where one can come and go. A morning is not a path, not even a path followed by a bird that flies away without leaving trace. A morning is a symphony; for it to be there or not depends on your presence.
The new bud on the tree is not even a year old. It is the bud of mindfulness and deep looking that, at each moment, in perpetual motion, opens up to life. If you see the new bud, you will be able to go beyond the limits of time, for true life is beyond months, beyond years.
Your eyes are the immense sky, the high mountain, the deep ocean. Your life does not know borders. All the delicious fruit and magnificent flowers belong to you. Accept them.
--Thich Nhat Hanh, in Call Me By My True Names
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Can you share a personal experience where you felt that the "morning is a symphony?" How do we grow in awareness of the novelty of each day? What does "All the delicious fruit and magnificent flowers belong to you. Accept them." mean to you, in terms of "you" and "belong"? How does this belonging relate to things that "belong" to us in our everyday sense of ownership?