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Here’s one thing I’m appreciating more in this time of quarantine: morning.

I’ve taken the experience of morning for granted too many times. No more.

Apparently, Henry David Thoreau felt the same. During his two-year “quarantine” in a cabin on Walden Pond, he came to see how important the experience of morning was to his life.

“Every morning was a cheerful invitation,” he wrote. It awakens us “to a higher life than we fell asleep from.” He mentioned that the Chinese King Tching-thang engraved on his bathtub these words:

“Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again.”

Reflecting on this, Thoreau wrote:

“All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere…To him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning. It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men. Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me.”

This raises some interesting questions: What is “a morning atmosphere”? Is it possible to bring more of the morning atmosphere to the way we experience the day?

Another question: What does it mean to have a dawn in me? What is dawning in me? What is dawning in you?

Imagine that your inner world is a mansion with many rooms and each room has a name. At dawn, you quietly walk through your “inner mansion” to turn on the lights.

You come to the room named Peace, and turn on the light. You turn on the light in the room named Joy. You do the same for the rooms named Awareness. Hopefulness. Wisdom. Courage. Compassion. Aliveness. Friendship. Work. Love.

Now, all the lights are on—and you are at home.

During this dark time, may those rooms become more lit up in us, affecting the way we look at ourselves, at each other, at work, at problems, at life—bringing to even the remote corners of our day a little more of the clean, fresh light of dawn.