Today's Present

The present given today
Is not one single overwhelming present bursting at the seams,
Straining ribbons and bows, ponderous and impractical.

The present given today
Is one made up of many moments
Which together deliver the plurality we call the present.

There are the gentle exchanges of concern that we share with others.
There are the views that unfold from the summit of the mountain,
Down the valley to the shore.

There is the ocean whipped into peaks of whitecaps
Running before the wind.

There is the friend whose friendship cannot be conceived in full,
Until another stage of life is entered.

There is the grass grown long and waving in the breeze,
Bordered by orange poppies and purple stock.

There is the overpowering sense of having been extended
A reprieve, and with it the desire
To cultivate regard for all the smaller kindnesses.

The present given today cannot be returned,
Cannot be exchanged for another,
Cannot be equalled in its excellence or tarnished by neglect.

It is a part of me and yet it liberates me from myself.
I would be poorer if I never felt this way.
It gives me back the better portion of the day.

©2016 Michael Fraley

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