Anything But Ordinary

It’s that sacred place where your soul is at rest because all the people you love most are there. … It is the nature of the earth to shift. It is the nature of fragile things to break. It is the nature of fire to burn. And just as it is the nature of men and women to build, it is also in our nature to begin again after disaster. This I know, too.

Susan Meissner, The Nature of Fragile Things

We have lived in Texas for nearly 9 years. For most of those years, we gathered around the table weekly, my husband, our sons, their wives, the grandsons. It was our “ordinary” practice – a weekly gathering, sharing life, good food, fun stories.

Then 2020, the pandemic.

Out of an abundance of caution, not wanting to cause undue pain, we lived our lives separately. We did not enter one another’s homes. We wore masks outdoors when we did meet up. And until today we did not hug.

I would like to learn, or remember, how to live.

Annie Dillard, The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New

I held on tight today, not wanting to let go! Hugging felt so good. The endorphins released by hugging were anything but ordinary!

The happy banter around the table was anything but ordinary!

The chaotic crazy cousins, so delighted to play with one another, running from room to room, using the recyclables as weapons of mass destruction, ninja moves, and laughter erupting was anything but ordinary.

May I never again take this sweet family togetherness for granted.

This was the day, returning to normal, the ordinariness of life … and it was anything BUT ordinary … simply glorious!

But you know what I love about seasons? They’re just that. Seasons. Periods of time, but not lifetimes. Even the longest winter turns into spring. One of the things I love most about spring is that no matter how dark and cold and bleak the winter was, the light always comes. All things are made new. The grass greens, the birds come back, new growth begins, and the days become longer. It is glorious.

Jody Niebuhr, Be Still: Leaning into God When Everything Falls Apart (compiled by S. Westfall)

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