Okay, here’s a confession. I don’t have a vanity license plate.
I’ve always thought that making a voluntary contribution to the DMV to obtain a vanity plate defies any definition of reason. There are obviously many who do not share my opinion – and as I look at it, their folly reduces the cost of my required annual donations. So I thank them.
But if I did have to pick a vanity plate, this is what it would say:
H D Q F D
Now you’ve probably played the game where you see vanity plates and try to figure out what the driver meant when he selected it. One of my neighbors who has never played a game of chess in his life has a plate that reads CHQM8.
I’m always concerned when I see a plate with someone’s name on it. I mean if they need to have the reinforcement of seeing their name on their license plate to remember who they are, they probably shouldn’t be driving.
But I think my vanity plate is more clever than most because I don’t think there is a person in the world who would have a clue what it means. Being the generally nice person that I try to be, rather than leave you in suspense, I’m going to share it’s meaning with you.
HDQFD are the first five letters of the 24th verse of the 118th Psalm in the Latin translation – and that verse is the mantra which I recite first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
“Haec dies quam fecit Dominus; exultemus et laetemur in ea.”
“This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Yesterday I happened to catch several episodes of “The Twilight Zone” marathon on television. One segment featured Burgess Meredith who played the part of a librarian. Since the state had burned all the books they could find, there was no need for librarians and they determined he was “obsolete.” He was condemned to death.
In writing my posts I always strive for accuracy. As a result, even though I have repeated that verse many times, I referred to my copy of the “Liber Usualis” which was given to me by a friend and his wife many years ago, in order to double check that my Latin was correct. It is one of those books that librarian Meredith died to protect.
The date this edition was published was 1925. The cover is a little worn at the edges and the pages have yellowed through the years. But the words still spring from them as fresh and as meaningfully as when they were written thousands of years ago.
I believe that if we are not grateful for what we already have, we are unlikely to receive more. That is what I take from this particular verse. And what we have is life and the duty to celebrate that.
So this morning and tonight I will repeat my mantra – and will relish the day and sleep well.