These are ordinary times where I am training my brain to dissect the human body and press on toward the skills of nursing and being alongside those who are sick, hurting. Ordinary hopes to fit all my hair in a ponytail by the end of the summer, not kill all the plants I planted, and take my kiddos to church where they learn that the Lord loves them and made them special. I just saw the trailer of Where the Wild Things Are and though it may not come out until October, it keeps me going.
I want to learn the discipline of thankfulness--for the ordinary and expected, the slow patient time that wraps into months and years. I want to see the table in front of me with its mahogany wood once stained and now battered by coffee mugs rings and the weight of books and wonder who made it, how many thrift stores and yard sales it passed through before making home in this living room of a java market. I want to know people with such wonder: like the man at Kroger who works with such exhilarating confidence and joy as a grocer, or the Aussie who changed my oil the other day and had a tattoo of Elvis on his calf. I wonder if he moved to Memphis because of Elvis, or because of a woman, or both.
He had the inevitable dirt and oil underneath his nails that has recently become a favorite observation. To work in the earth or with tools is getting us closer to the way things used to be, how humanity was always intended to interact with creation. To build and plant and create are echos of necessity and birth and beauty. Ordinary, absolutely. Glorious, indeed. I am hopeful that the ordinary will be so simple and intoxicating that I will gravitate to such a discipline. But it does take new eyes and ears to see and hear the breaths of nature, the constant turning of love, mercy, restoration.
"We sleep to time's hurdy-gurdy; we wake, if we ever wake, to the silence of God. And then, when we wake to the deep shores of time uncreated, then when the dazzling dark breaks over the far slopes of time, then it's time to toss things, like our reason, and our will; then it's time to break our necks for home.
There are no events but thoughts and the heart's hard turning, the heart's slow learning where to love and whom. The rest is merely gossip, and tales for other times."
-Annie Dillard 'Holy the Firm'
May our senses break to the patient knowing of God and love.