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Today is a gift

“Robert, Your Present Has Arrived!”

That was the message that slipped past my spam filter this morning.

I knew it was robot-generated and impersonal because no one who knows me calls me Robert even though that is my first name.

If someone had wanted to award me a Tesla or a pot of Bitcoin for whatever reason, that presenter surely would have called me or appeared on my front lawn with an entourage of cheerleaders and an enthused television reporter congratulating me.

Instead of deleting the email, I allowed the wording to penetrate my cold, cold heart to the quick as if Zeus had hurled a thunderbolt in my path emblazoned with an announcement, “Robert, Your Present Has Arrived!”

My mind instantaneously downloaded that memorized 1890s saw from Alice Morse Earle, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”

Another quotation with similar insight leapt from my teeming brain, how Emily asked, in Thornton Wilder’s “My Town,” “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it?” to which the stage manager responded, “No. Saints and poets maybe; they do some.”

Yesterday is, like Gibraltar, immovable.

“The past,” wrote Sandburg, “is a bucket of ashes.”

Tomorrow may or may not dawn for me.

So all I truly possess is this one new day totally unowed, pure gift, amazing grace.

At issue is only whether I will honor or dishonor a no-strings-attached gift.

Rita Dove’s line about the second chance each new morning affords says it best:

“The whole sky is yours to write on, blown open to a blank page.”

What shall I write on this one blank page to reflect my sincere gratitude for this whole sky this whole new day this second chance?