At our Little Free Library we came across a kid’s book called The Way to Start A Day, something we think about a lot. It’s about the many ways different peoples celebrate and honor a new day to set the right tone in their lives. It offers fine advice no matter what age you are.

Some people
there is
a new sun
every day,
that it
its life
at dawn
and lives
for one day

They say
you have to
welcome it.

Byrd Baylor + Peter Parnall/Alladin
Byrd Baylor + Peter Parnall/Alladin

…Go outside…
…and greet the sun
with some kind of 
or chant
or song
that you made yourself…


We welcome the day by NOT checking devices right away, but rather, reading something that heartens us, reminds us of blessings we have, douses us in beauty, wakes us to possibility…

Mitch Epstein/Courtesy of Steidl/ Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York
Mitch Epstein/Courtesy of Steidl/ Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

… like this just-right poem by Jana Prikryl, our new favorite poet. A friend read it to us not more than 10 minutes after we found The Way to Start A Day. Perfect synchronicity!  It’s from her new book, The After Party.

The pines absorb the night, its themes and fabrics,
a lowering of blinds within blinds and glances perceiving glances,

till nothing of night remains in the air and the sky begins to demonstrate
again its essential property of flaring from all quarters

and all morning the pines sparely with a kind of jealous, pointed
attention unleash their reserves, granting each hour

before noon its cool underpinning and each pine
the work of expressing its individual silence


And in this way, we greet the day.


photo of Eastern White Pine in Owl’s Head Park, Brooklyn from the sublime New York Arbor.

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9 replies on “The Way to Start a Day

  1. It is the 2nd day in August, and I have been told by you that I have already gone over my five free views this month. What gives?!? Also, I have mentioned this to friends who say that they have never run into this. Frustrating.

  2. Hi, You get 5 free reads per 30 days, not per calendar month. So if you’ve been reading since early in July, your reads may be over. Please let me know when you started reading so I can make sure nothing is awry.

  3. To offset the first negative response, I say BEAUTIFUL to this post. The sun is shining on me right now on what could be a stressful day. I choose to welcome it and make a good day for it. Thank you.

  4. Hi Sally, I thought I was a subscriber but have been cut off from access. Do I need to resubscribe?

    Love your blog & don’t want to miss it. Thanks –


  5. Yes! A wonderful message to start afresh each morning. Such an opportunity! Thank you for the reminder, Sally.

    To the first commenter, might I gently suggest that, given your (understandably) enthusiastic reading of IL each month, perhaps you might consider a Tiny Pass subscription? It’s a mere $1.50 per month I believe, and then you can read to your heart’s content and dig deep into the wonderful archives. And for your clever friends who also read IL, what a perfect gift a subscription might be!

    –Catbird Farm

  6. Hi Kathy, Yep, your subscribed through to March of 2017. THANK YOU!. But I’m sorry you’re locked out. It happens very occasionally due to caching issues/cookies and other things I don’t quite get. So here are some fixes. If you still can’t access Improvised Life, please email me at [email protected] and I will make sure we get help.

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  7. This is is my Go-To site each morning. I start my day with your pearls of wisdom and advice. I think EVERYONE who partakes should become a Friend-With-Benefits. It is only right to give back.

  8. Thanks so that encouraging others to support Improvised Life. I really appreciate and can’t tell you how much your membership helps, not to mention your words and being there!

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