Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ordinary Serendipity

It's funny how, every once in a while, life throws something at you several times in a row, as if to say, "Hey, idiot! Pay attention to THIS!"

I've been getting that sort of notice over the last several days, but not about anything in particular. No, in fact I feel like I'm being reminded to pay attention to the wonderfulness of ordinary life.

There was the message in Thomas Moore's book, Dark Nights of the Soul:

One of the greatest things a human being can do is raise a child to be happy and wise. One of the most altruistic things you can do is be a good neighbor and an involved citizen. The soul is fulfilled by the ordinary....

...the deep soul longs for ordinary connection and engagement. It wants friendship and family and community. It longs for the simple pleasures...

Then in today's Wichita Eagle, Suzanne Perez Tobias's column, entitled, " 'Dalai Mama': Or how to stop and smell the Glade," dealt with the related theme of taking time to notice the wonderful in the ordinary - her example being the excitement felt by a young child smelling the air fresheners in the grocery store, totally missed by the child's mother who was busily chosing the perfect bathroom cleaner to rout out soap scum.

When I visited in Mobile last month, I remember, too, a snippet of conversation about how much we all deeply enjoy our ordinary routines, especially as we've gotten a little older.

Suddenly all of these reminders coalesced into the deep pleasure of luxuriating in my ordinary morning. The sky is gray, a little snow is spitting, the temperatures are nippy and the wind is blowing, but I'm warm inside, lazily lounging in my robe, sipping a cup of coffee and watching the birds filter into the feeders and then lift out again in sudden waves of caution. I've read the paper, had a bowl of cereal, fed the cat and dogs, and now I'm doing my daily computer check-in, complete with a purring cat snuggling into my arms and a content dog lying at my feet.

I don't think life can get much richer than this.

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