Thursday, July 21, 2011

Extraordinary Ordinary

I was reading Proverbs 12 and one of its bits of wisdom is:
"Better to be ordinary and work for a living than act important and starve in the process."
One of the blessings (if you can call it that) of the latest recession is that people have had to get back to basics.  Ordinary is suddenly cool!  I think we tend to sell ordinary short.  There's a lot of value in ordinary, we just have forgotten how to appreciate those simpler things!  I would even go so far as to say there are extraordinary things to be found in the ordinary!

Why is it that when you buy your child the latest coolest gizmo the excitement lasts for a moment and then they suddenly start playing with the box?  Why do young children spot every ant, caterpillar, butterfly and bug on a simple walk outside?  Because kids intuitively understand that there is great value in the ordinary!

Think back to your childhood and your fondest memories.  Did they involve a "thing" or did they involve family and friends?  Now granted, that bike you got for your birthday may have been cool, but was it the bike itself, or rather the feeling you got from riding it or the adventures that the bike took you on that you remember?

One of my fondest memories is of my grandmother.  It was a beautiful late spring/early summer day.  Sun was shining, a breeze was blowing and the two of us were taking a walk to the brook.  I don't remember all of the details but what I do remember most was the feel of her hand, the warm sun and light breeze and feeling like all was right with the world!  I'm sure my grandmother thought nothing of it because we had done this a hundred times before.  But in my mind, that moment-that day was magical!  It was an extraordinary ordinary moment!  I have lots of memories like that, brief moments, snatches of time that in the scheme of things were very ordinary but they hold a special spot in my heart!

I still have moments like that-moments that take my breath away!  So ordinary yet I know deep down that they are more than ordinary.  Watching my children discover their first walking stick bug.  A hummingbird hovering gracefully by a feeder.  The burst of color from the Irises finally blooming.  Hearing the bells of the Catholic church gently toll across the valley on a misty morning.  Watching a deer pick it's way carefully across the front yard.  The cooling brace of the water when you first jump in to the pond on a hot day.  Making an ordinary meal and sharing it with family and friends.  Ordinary moments, yet they are the ones that I cherish and most vividly remember!

I think it's time to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary!  To value and cherish the common and everyday moments of our lives.  To look at the world like we did when we were young and everything was new and fresh.  Let's look for the joy and wonder in what is right in front of us!  Let's look at the ordinary things in our lives and find the extraordinary spark of specialness!  We have the ability, we just need to reclaim the skill!

In the meantime, I'm going to grab a cup of coffee and go watch the dogs chase grasshoppers!  Carpe Diem-seize your ordinary day!

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