November 16 – The Moment of Dawn – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“There’s a sun in every person—the you we call companion.” Rumi

It is essential to realize and embrace the paradox that while no one can go through your journey for you, you are not alone. Everyone is on the same journey. Everyone shares the same pains, the same confusions, the same fears, which if put out between us, lose their edges and so cut us less.

A very touching story from the Talmud captures this soft paradox of how we all journey alone together. A Rabbi asks his students, “How do you know the first moment of dawn has arrived?” After  a great silence, one pipes up, “When you can tell the difference between a sheep and a dog.” The Rabbi shakes his head no. Another offers, “When you can tell the difference between a fig tree and an olive tree.” Again, the Rabbi shakes his head no. There are no other answers. The Rabbi circles their silence and walks between them, “You know the first moment of dawn has arrived when you look into the eyes of another human being and see yourself.”

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