“Everyone in the world has gone to bed one night or another with fear, or pain, or loss, or disappointment – and yet each of us has awakened, arisen, somehow made our ablutions, seen other human beings and said: ‘Morning, how are you?’ ‘Fine, thanks – and you?”
I started reading about the late Maya Angelou as she described her poem, “Still I Rise.” Her words made me think about the simple act of getting out of bed each morning and how it’s not the same for everyone.
For most of us, leaving those warm covers is an easy, but necessary evil, precursor to bleary walks to the kitchen for coffee. And yet for others, this daily act, this rising, is a test of courage and will.
I think of the people in my life – family and friends – who get up each morning, despite hardship, illness and tragedy. I think of my husband who rises each day with painful, aching joints to provide for his family. I think of my mother who awakes early seven days a week to tend to my disabled father.
I think of my mother-in-law who, with great medical challenges, gets out of bed to nurture her cats and be a source of cheer and comfort to her Texas neighbors. I think of my friend who lost her son seven years ago but still rises each morning with kindness in her heart.
It’s easy for many of us to take this simple act for granted, this standing up, this taking on a new day. Our culture likes to define courage with gun-toting macho heroes. And yet bravery’s in small things, and no more simple than pulling yourself out of bed, no matter what challenges lie ahead.
I’m thankful for the people who inspire and awe me with their daily acts of fortitude. It took a poet like Maya Angelou to help me see what was right in front of me. So many humans endure the unimaginable.
And yet each morning, they rise.