Why Bother to Pluck the Day?

Why Bother to Pluck the Day?

It is not unusual for me to window shop. I do it while jogging. Some days, my running route takes me by a gift store that keeps decorative plaques on display in their window. One of them reads, “Carpe Diem.” 

Up until a day or so ago, I’d always thought that Carpe Diem meant to “seize the day,” something which my personality relates to. Those words had always brought an image to my mind of me taking a bull by its horns, wrestling with something difficult, winning over it and claiming victory. But when I investigated the words for myself, I found them to mean something other than I thought. 

Pluck the Day

Horace, was a Roman poet who coined the phrase, Carpe diem, in the “Odes,” a long series of poems.  

“Scale back your long hopes to a short period.

While we speak, time is envious and is running away from us.

Seize the day trusting little in the future.”

The literal translation from Latin, the language Horace penned his poems in, means to “pluck the day.” Plucking is quite different from seizing. Plucking means to gather those short quality moments that happen throughout the day, and notice them like you would a beautiful flower. 

It is a strenuous stretch for me to think differently, especially about something I’d thought to be true. Yet, I’m always up for a good challenge and made the resolve to try plucking a day instead of seizing it.  

I wanted to see if I could practice this new idea and chose a Monday as my trial run. The day began just like any other and I dressed in warm layers heading out for my usual jog. I observed the cold invigorating air, the bright stars and streets absent of any ice. Then I perceived a bit of gratitude inside of me. Even after all these years, I can still run.  

Sitting down to my breakfast; coffee, fresh farm eggs and blueberries from last summer’s harvest, I stopped and considered that I’ve never gone hungry.  

Then, I drove to a job that I like, on a paved highway, in a car that has never left me stranded on the side of the road. Again, I paid attention to how fortunate I am.  

At work I exchanged stimulating and light hearted conversations with co-workers, and interacted with students who were mostly interested in what I had to say. I regarded my heart and noticed its cheer. 

At the end of the day, at home again, and eating dinner with my husband, I ruminated on our thriving relationship, our cozy home and health. I felt blessed.

Maybe plucking the day isn’t too far fetched from simply recognizing those short, yet quality filled moments that make up the day. Like a flower, they don’t last too long, just long enough to notice how beautiful they are. 

Why bother to pluck the day. It might be worth it for the bounty of the beauty.

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