Peering from the upstairs window as daylight began to chase the night, I noticed a large deer under the apple tree. It moved slowly, an elegant shadow that ambled unrushed down the hill past the burn pile and out of sight. Later, as the first rays of the sun brushed the tips of the trees, highlighting their fall colors, Thoreau’s familiar passage from Walden came to mind.

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn…

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor…

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every (one) is tasked to make (their) life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of (their) most elevated and critical hour.

Whatever today brings for each of us, whether, like so many in the news we are facing the enormity of loss of home, health or loved ones, or we are just staring at the monotony of routine, we have choices to make. Those choices come from our thoughts, which are the source of our attitude and effort, the brushes with which we paint the quality of the day.

I saw the deer, having just emerged from meditation where I had read the following quote attributed to the Buddha:

The thought manifests as the word; the word manifests as the deed; the deed develops into habit; and habit hardens into character.

So watch the thought and its ways with care and let it spring from love born out of concern for all beings.

What is one thought that will help you affect the quality of your day?