Thursday, April 22, 2010

Normal Days

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor 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 will 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 Irion
    To see today’s gifts as they were, are and will be without greed or need is challenging. The rhythm of our life inherently moves us forward. The ticking of the second hand reminds us that the moment we call “now” has passed us by. We begin to feel an inner drive to do more, have more, become more, and learn more, always fearing the “waste.” To learn to accept today as it is presented and stand in awe of its wonder is the blessing of a normal day.
    I pause to contemplate the gift of a normal day with no need of fireworks, notable events or epiphanies. As I ponder, I notice my hands. My eyes move across the raised veins, tiny scars and slightly arthritic knuckles and bent fingers. I read the map of my days in the contours of my hands. I can see the battles and victories, the clenched fists and open palms of surrender. I can see the closed doors they’ve encountered and doors they’ve opened. I can see the health of my body and even its abuse. I see flowers held, Gulf water splashed, fist pumps of victories when I’ve crossed a finished line and touches to say good bye. They have never planted a flag on Mt. Everest, accepted a Nobel Prize nor held a winning lottery ticket. Like the geography of the earth they are a slow accumulation of days and lives. Layers of experiences. Layers of highs and lows and layers of normal days.
    Normal days are like your hands. You don’t think about them. You don’t consciously wake up and celebrate them, Twitter or send emails about your hands. Put one of your hands in a cast, a finger in a splint or even a really gnarly paper cut and you suddenly realize just how precious your hands are. Normal day, let me treasure you through my hands. Through the contours and layers of my days, ingrained in and upon my hands, may I celebrate the simple touch of a flower or friend and the ability to reach out for nothing more than to say I’m here. May I see each jar opened as a victory and be filled with the delight of its contents. May each tap of the keyboard remind me of rain drops and mud puddles.
    Normal days, when the inner rhythm of life, its wants, needs, hopes and even greed push me forward and away from you, guide my eyes to my hands. Guide my eyes to their open palms. Normal days and open palms-signs of both surrender and receiving, as is and as presented.