Woke up way too early this morning, tossed fitfully in trying to get back to bed, and then finally sorted myself enough to sleep, only to wake with the dawn’s early light.  I’m sick.

It’s a snot-and-head-cold sort of thing, clearly inherited from some child at school, with liquidy mucus a white-to-pale green color.  Rest and sleep today has helped improve it, but so has the Fire Cider that my lady and I made to give away as Christmas presents this year. This turned out to be a bit of a life-saver for me this morning — an hour after I took a healthy triple-dose of the stuff, I was breathing normally, and my sinuses are basically clear.

photo of me helping to decant six gallons of fire cider.

photo of me helping to decant six gallons of fire cider.

But because of the breath challenges, I can’t say that tai chi this morning was a great practice.  I didn’t do The Way of Energy stance this morning, for example, and my tai chi practice was rushed.  It was a day for doing errands and finishing the set-up for a workshop tomorrow at school, too.

But I’ve said before that it’s not about whether any given day is good.  Really, when it comes to a daily practice, it matters that every day is completed.  If you feel that the practice you take on has been done for the day, then it’s done, and that’s the most important part of the work.

The transformative nature of daily practice is that it changes you by slow degrees, not all at once.  All-at-once transformation is all too likely to revert back to ‘normal behavior’ in short order.  There’s no foundation for the transformation to stick on; you haven’t built a structure to increase the height, depth, breadth and length of your labor.  But daily practice provides that foundation.  Maybe, like today, your work crew doesn’t show up, and it’s all you can do to hammer a few nails into place and sweep the construction site, or haul away the trash.  That’s OK.  Sooner or later, though, the next stage of construction begins, and you move on from what’s already been built.  Maintain the building site; keep the structure going; do what needs to be done daily so that the work can flourish when the laborers and the enthusiasm return.  That’s all any of us can really do, after all.

Today is Saint Dermot’s Day.  I wrote a poem about this a while back. Tomorrow is the Carmentalia: the Feast of the Nine Muses.  I intend to write a poem or two, and to celebrate the Nine with a little bit of prayer and candle-lighting near dawn.