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Normal Day Blessings

March 12, 2009

One of our normal days, many days ago--taking a walk on the farm.

One of our normal days, many days ago--taking a walk on the farm.

I stumbled across this prose poem today that I’d all but forgotten about, but which serves as a beautiful, simple reminder to joy in our present. It’s called “Normal Day,” by Mary Jean Iron, and it goes like this,

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”

How often do we fail to learn from, love, and be blessed by our “normal days” as we chafe continually for the elusive perfection of tomorrow?

When I was younger (does that make me sound old?) I was constantly on the go…always in motion, flitting from one thing to the next. (Some would say this is still true…they didn’t know me ‘when.’) Sometimes it was something fun, like a movie or a softball game, or dinner out, but increasingly it was some responsibility or task I had taken on—in an effort, I think, to improve something that I felt needed improvement or a little extra perfection. I was always looking forward to what could be, instead of living in the moment.

As I’ve gotten older, I am increasingly appreciative of that moment…the here and now. It’s value intrinsic in a quiet day at home—probably because they are so rare as the children get older and pull you in their many different scheduled directions. It’s being able to put yourself on pause long enough to actually enjoy that cup of chai without burning the roof of your mouth, and to make a phone call to a friend when she crosses your mind, instead of thinking “man, I really need to call her…”

I love Iron’s parting idea—that one day we shall long for the return of these normal days so intensely that our nails will dig earth, our muscles will tauten, and our arms will raise in supplication and futility to the skies. Our recourse is to slow down and enjoy these normal days while they last, while our children are still young, while we are still blessed with what is routine and everyday.

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