In the first chapter of the 1911 literary classic Peter and Wendy— the story we know today as Peter Pan– author J.M. Barrie describes a devoted mother, working tirelessly to give her child the most precious of gifts: The chance to begin again.
This metaphor is one to which we can all relate, because like the children in Barrie’s story we, too, are given the gift of a fresh start with each new day. The chance to do things differently. An opportunity to take our first steps for the millionth time as we struggle to navigate life’s vast sea of uncertainty: the unanswered questions, the lingering doubts, the terrifying plot twists we never saw coming.
Our stories are far from perfect: We make mistakes. We fly off the handle. We take the low road, then immediately wish we hadn’t. We spend countless days, weeks, even months of our stories not entirely sure if we’re living a fantasy or a farce. Sometimes we show the world the very worst we have to offer. We wonder, at times, if we’re really as alone as we think we are.
But then we are reminded of the gift: We get to try again.
With the promise of every tomorrow we are granted yet another opportunity to make it right. Even in the midst of our most consuming darkness, we are being cared for, invited to rest, urged to tuck our worries into bed so that our thoughts and perspectives may be wiped clean of yesterday’s nonsense. We are being guided into the light of a new day– second star to the right and straight on til morning.
So today friends, let’s take a deep breath of gratitude as we put on our prettier thoughts. And together, let’s give thanks for the chance to begin again. And again. And again.
Right where we are.