Dayenu (דַּיֵּנוּ — meaning, “it would have been enough”)

A tree fell on me today. Literally. Crushed a fence, sent me to the ER (no concussion, thank You). And I could not be more grateful for the experience.

A family friend (a 50-year-old mother of two ), myself (a 45-year-old man), and my 10-year-old daughter were walking along the sidewalk when we heard the cracking sound. The tree fell towards me, and I let it hit me, falling along with it. A bump on my head. Stars in my eyes. Anxiety in my heart.

This is the route that our friend and my wife usually walk. But my wife is away, and I have the kids to myself. Too many pieces to manage. My car was a mile away, one daughter was in class, the other was wide-eyed, shaky, and silent. Our schedule was double booked.

After visiting the ER, as I drove home with my daughters, I was thinking about two Hebrew words:
הכרת הטוב (HaChrot haTov — “Gratitude”, literally “Good Remembrance”) and דַּיֵּנוּ (Dayenu, meaning, “it would have been enough”)

Dayenu is the Passover song reciting each step the story of the Jews’ Exodus from Egypt:

And I was thinking of this in the context of today’s events:

And many other thoughts of how fortunate I was to be the one to be in the way.

Another Good Wisdom: The falling tree‘s timing was serendipitous.

Where some see “signs from above,” I see “lessons from within.”

The tree started falling to the right of me, My 10-year-old behind me.

Jumping out of the way would have ended in disaster for my daughter. Covering her with my body would have ended in disaster for me. Instead, I met the tree head on.

As Marcus Aurelius writes:

Don't say I am unhappy because this has happened to me. But I continue free from pain, neither crushed by the present nor fearing the future. For such a thing as this might have happened to any man; but not every man would have continued free from pain on such an occasion. Why do we consider it then a misfortune rather than good fortune?

So, I am thankful I get another day with my kids, with my life. I will continue to face my challenges heads on, addressing problem scenarios in the order they unfold. And that would be enough.

דַּיֵּנוּ (Dayenu).

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Drew Schillinger

Drew Schillinger

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I am a Zen-gineer, coach, manager, and mindful leader whose goal is to encourage and help my teammates succeed in all their endeavors.