Last June I gave a dear friend (who at the time had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer) the gift of a year in the form of a National Geographic book: Daily Peace, 365 Days of Renewal.
The book’s jacket encourages readers to “Pause to reflect, enjoy life’s simple pleasures, and renew your spirit with the timeless wisdom of Daily Peace. Filled with elegant photographs and thoughtful quotes, this inspiring book will provide perspective and meaning every day of the year.”
National Geographic has a series of these 6”x7” by 1 ¾” thick perpetual calendar books. Besides Daily Peace, they include
- Daily Kindness, 365 days of compassion
- Daily Joy, 365 days of inspiration
- Daily Gratitude, 365 days of reflection
- Daily Love, 365 days of celebration
- Daily Calm, 365 days of serenity
Each book offers a monthly theme. The twelve themes for the Peace book are Transition, Healing, Resilience, Strength, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Mindfulness, Perspective, Balance, Tranquility, Kindness, and Simplicity.
Don’t you feel better just saying those themes out loud?
I also bought the book for myself since I had pledged to my friend that I would travel the healing journey with her. Each new day as I turned to the date’s offering, I thought of my friend and whispered a prayer for her recovery.
At times I felt her spirit with me. Other days as I pondered a fresh interesting quotation, I wondered what meaning she might find in the words.
For instance, January 14 provides a quote from Narihira: “I have always known that at last I would take this road, but yesterday I did not know that it would be today.”
That quote has stuck in my brain, well, since January 14. Consider all the meanings those words might have for various people because what it means to me will be different than what it means to you.
(In case you’re wondering, Narihira was a Japanese poet who (it’s believed) lived from 825-880. No, I’m not an expert in Japanese poets; I had to look it up.)
These books can last a lifetime because they are set up as simply dates, such as February 1. It doesn’t matter if I’m reading that page today or five years from now on February 1.
Because my friend Linda and I began our reading journey in June, the pages for the months January through May are new to us. But even when June rolls around again, I plan on keeping my Daily Peace book right where it is and refer to it each morning. I’m a different person, as are each of us, than I was a year ago. So I’ll be absorbing the photos and words from a different mindset.
Who knows what new motivational renewal awaits me?