Normal Day

‘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.”  ~Mary Jean Iron


You felt something when you read those words, didn’t you?  If you didn’t. . . don’t let yourself off so easily.  I urge you to go back and read it again.
Read it S-L-O-W-L-Y. . .

Powerful stuff, isn’t it?. 

This is precisely why I love words.  Words pieced together in such a beautiful sequence somehow draw me in and shake the innermost parts of my spirit.  They have this strange power to draw me inward and outward at the same time. . . challenging me to live more intentionally, more fully, more authentically.  The invitation in these words dare me. . . no they double-dog dare me. . . to look at the ordinary parts of my life and see them for what they really are. 

Today, it all started with a strawberry. . .

A big, plump, juicy strawberry.  When does a strawberry cease to be just a strawberry? 

Give up?  When it’s placed in the hands of a three year old.

Placed in the small hands of my little girl, the tiny piece of fruit becomes an experience.  It began with excited jumping up and down as the strawberry was pulled from the grocery bag.  Once washed and in her hands, she studied it.  She turned it slowly and intentionally around and over in her hands before bringing it to her mouth.  With each morsel she exclaimed of its goodness and continued her studies between bites. Strawberries may seem normal, but this morning, they were anything but.

The strawberry got me thinking.  What if?  What if all of us could live each day as if it were a treasure?  Or, what if one of us could live each day as a treasure?  Or even, what if one of us could live one day as if it were a treasure?

Would the world look different? 

We baked a spaghetti squash today.  Usually a task that I do quickly between games of hide and seek or cleaning the kitchen and vacuuming the living room.  Today, the squash became a means of discovery. 

We sifted and sorted out seeds and goop before she stripped away at the strands of spaghetti.  She carefully watched as the strands released themselves from their outer shell and exclaimed of their awesomeness.  She wondered “is this where spaghetti comes from?” and insisted that “I can do it by myself.” 

I won’t soon forget this squash.

If anyone were to ask me. . . did you do anything special today?. . . I might get strange looks if I answered with an enthusiastic, Yes! and talked about big bites of strawberry’s and squash.  People might walk away and whisper about my weirdness without understanding that I truly am trying to see the beauty that is right now.  In fact, I would want them to hear more. . . know more.  I would want to be sure they knew about the hour we spent outside before we met our lunch dates.

I would want to explain the way she smiled her quirky smile as she played her harmonica on her big wheel.  I would tell about the go-stop-go-stop routine she likes to do in the driveway in order to get my attention.  I would talk about the way she exclaimed, “Oh Mommy, look! Take a picture!” when she saw a creature effortlessly floating in the sky.

I would have missed it, had she not brought it to my attention.  As I was looking at my watch and calculating the time we should leave. . . she was only in that moment.  And I’m so glad she was.  Once again drawing my attention to that which is marvelous in the mundane. 

I guess that it may not be viewed as “cool” to be moved by the normal.  Why get excited by strawberries, squash, or a bird?  Why waste your time and energy to enjoy it?  Or even more. . . to write about?  In this case, I laugh in the face of cool.  If it’s nerdy to be amazed by the everyday. . . I’ll be the first in line for my “NERD” badge.

You see, I truly believe that this could change the world.  I believe that if today could be embraced with a great big “Thank You”. . .life would be different.  And if you don’t believe me. . . ask someone who is living with cancer. 

I sat with my children and my FIL and swayed from games of tic tac toe to conversations about all aspects of life.  I wonder what others think as they watch us linger while others rush in and out during their lunch break.  I find myself filled  with understanding that this moment is nothing short of spectacular.  I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that while this may look normal. . . it is far from it. 

And maybe I’m over simplifying.  Maybe I just don’t get that life happens, tragedy happens, and despair is real.  Maybe I have yet to have been hit hard enough to realize that there really is a place where light doesn’t shine.  Perhaps it really is more than choice. . . more than perspective.  The truth is, until I get
there. . . I won’t know.  For now, I’m doing my best to find the treasure in the everyday. . . even in the rainy days.

How about you?  Can you find the treasure in your normal? 

I double-dog dare you. . .

  • Stacey - March 24, 2011 - 12:54 pm

    Great stuff today Summer! Love the quote, had to print it so I could re-read it often!ReplyCancel

  • Sassytimes - March 24, 2011 - 1:24 pm

    Ah, I LOVE this! I so wish we were neighbors and could enjoy each day given to us together. Children are our gift. They allow us to find the joy in all the tiny, normal things. I wish more people could see that. And I'm glad I found someone like you in blogland to make me feel less 'nerdish'; because no one else I know enjoys all the simple things that each day brings.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - March 24, 2011 - 9:28 pm

    Yep….moisture in the eye zone!ReplyCancel

  • BookWorm Jackie - March 24, 2011 - 9:51 pm

    If you are nerdy by enjoying the simple things then I guess I am right there with you!!! Isn't awesome how God shows us through the eyes and mouths of children what life should really be like!!!!Who cares if this or that doesn't get done. There are more important things in life. I love reading your words. You are one special woman!!!! Hope you get that hug I told the princess to give you. And boy did I learn Karate today:) They help to make even my not feeling good days so much better!!!!!!!!!!!! Love them!!ReplyCancel

  • Hummel Family - March 26, 2011 - 2:06 pm

    I found your blog today. This post is SO BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I know I needed to be reminded of the simple things in life and the pleasures that they bring. I just need to slow down!!

    Btw, I know your Father-n-law. He is one amazing guy!

    JoEllen HummelReplyCancel

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