I took this morning’s first sip of coffee on the porch overlooking the distant hills. Day light crept across the trees below casting shadows on the far side of emerging leaves. Birds sang their songs of a new day’s connection, and thoughts of a friend came to mind.

Once more he undergoes chemo, this time for a new cancer unrelated to the first. His is a warrior spirit. His life is filled with passion and directed by purpose. It is this energy that will see him through yet again.

A reading from A Grateful Heart introduced me to another warrior whose attitude toward her cancer over thirty years ago provides a life lesson for us all, regardless of our history or the circumstances we face today.

In the lines below Dawna Markova’s message is both elusively simple and intensely profound. Our task in life is twofold: to find our passion, what we care most deeply about, and to live our purpose, that which gives meaning to our being here. Our daily choices both shape and convey the ways we fulfill the task.

I will not die an unlived life. / I will not live in fear

of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days, / to allow my living to open me,

To make me less afraid, / more accessible, / to loosen my heart

until It becomes a wing, / a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance;

To live so that which came to me as seed

Goes to the next as blossom

And that which came to me as blossom,

Goes on as fruit.