The air is cold and damp, it stings my fingers. The voice tempts me, "You can have whatever you want today. You can get it yourself."
The offer is tempting. I could use an easy road right now. Uphill gets old.
Restlessness weighs heavy today as I walk the curved path. The best part of the walk is ahead. The path changes from too bright sunlight to rich dappled green and teases off into the woods. I have walked it for weeks now and I know good and well where that path goes.
Seeing it though, seeing it is like a trick of the soul. This part never gets old. My breath catches like a kid whose eyes finally behold what the heart has been anticipating. The path tricks me every day and every day I imagine that it goes somewhere new.
"What is the cost?" The words float in my mind.
"You can have anything you want. You can have it today. Just sell Tomorrow."
And there it is. The only part of what the tempter says that is truth. I can have whatever I want Today, if I just sell Tomorrow.
Surprise sparks in my mind when I experience a blessed moment of clarity, seeing the lie for what it is instead of swallowing it down.
I take off my sunglasses to see in the shade of the woods. Everything looks different, the green is more intense, the light dances through the cottonwoods leaves, and the creatures can't hide from me anymore. I drink up the peace in this place. And I hear a different voice whispering of hope and future and holding on to what you know is good.
Today is finite. It ends. Yes it is beautiful and what Today offers should be seized and lived in and celebrated because it ends. But it still ends.
Tomorrow is eternal. Some people say it never comes but they're wrong. Tomorrow is born fresh over and over. We just get confused because it changes its name each time. Make no mistake though, Tomorrow never really ends. It is eternal.
Selling Tomorrow for chattel Today would only make me a bondwoman, a kind of slave.
I can have a spotless home today if I sell part of my bond with my children, one precious hour at a time.
I can have a bigger home today if I sell a dream and stop planting the seeds and stop doing the work that will make that dream grow real.
I can have esteem today if I sell a hundred little moments that I simply won't have time for in a different tomorrow.
I can spend money on whatever draws my eye if I sell the time it takes to care about you and yours.
Now hear me, our Todays and Tomorrows are different, you and I. My dreams and loves do not judge yours. We are both safe in this backyard.
This jumble of nonsense and vague ideas is just about holding on to what you know is true, holding on to what is significant and of real value.
Holding on and holding out for real gold instead of running to town with a hand full of shiny worthless rocks like some fool.
The path hasn't changed and it is real Today. I can seize this moment and love it for what it is, here and now and real and use beautiful Today to do the work for Tomorrow. I do not have to trade true value for the easy road. Besides, Today may have an end but it teases and delights with its own surprises.
The merganser duck with the late brood of chicks has only one left. I don't know where the rest are but after two cold snaps, dogs, turtles and whatever else lives in water, the chick is a little miracle. It makes me unreasonably happy. The kid in my heart catches her breath as she sees the fuzzy shape, half yellow, half brown, waddling awkwardly around the duck as an older woman feeds the flock. The woman points her cane directly at the orange bill of the big obnoxious goose who, all of us park walkers know, is solely responsible for the new warning sign about aggressive geese. The goose seems to nod his head as if saying to the flock, "Respect the cane."
Yes, for all my babbling, Today is beautiful too and deserves to be fully occupied, while its still around anyway.