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JOY SYLVESTER JOHNSON: Gratitude For Love and Life

Joy Sylvester Johnson

This Morning . . .

I spend a moment each morning considering my own death. I know each day, each breath, brings me closer to this final transition. One morning I will wake up dead.

The plastic drinking straws I no longer use will still be in their neat box like little soldiers waiting to be chosen. Some, from days gone by, will already be in the ground or floating in the sea when these molecules of skin and bones and muscles and whatever else makes up this form I inhabit, goes the way of worm food, ultimately returning to bits of earth and drops of water sans breath.

The phone I hold in my hand as I put these thoughts to words holds more information than I could even read, much less consider, in the time I have left. I have few regrets, but one is the time I gave to debating when pondering was by far the better option.

I am the sum of my memories and my dreams. I am my relationships. I am abundantly blessed with acquaintances and what I call “aquiends” — people who aren’t friends (yet). I even manage to have friends, the ones who seem to know when to show up and when to stay away, when to speak and when to shout in silence.

I am the action I took (or failed to take) in the last moment.

I am all of this and something — more.

On this morning I realize I am not dead. I greet my live self with delight and a little surprise, and an overwhelming curiosity to see why these bones and flesh and memories and dreams have been given the ability to live one more day.

And so it begins—another day of being alive.

God, make this day more than bits of plastic and an infinity of data. Stand in the gaps when folks fail to connect. Fill this day with meaning. Bring truth and beauty and every gift of wonderment You have created into focus. And, in your gracefulness, let the aroma of mystery linger just a bit longer today than yesterday.

I am the result of Your creative, love filled longing. Help me to pass on this holy secret to those who follow.

Joy Sylvester Johnson

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