A while ago, I wrote a post about how we should savor ordinary days. In that post, I mentioned a poem that I had read about this subject but I had not been able to find the poem to give to those who wanted it. Well, it’s amazing what you can find when you clean off your desk and get organized. I know I really need to practice what I preach! So here it is. I am sorry I have tried but can’t find who wrote it.
Let Me Hold You While I May
The day is over. Now I will sleep. It’s been a normal sort of day — common, like a rock along the path. Nothing about it would make one stop suddenly, pick it up and exclaim over it as one might do with a shell or a glistening piece of quartz.
It was just a rock — lying there along my way. But now, knowing that it is about to go from me forever, I hold it in my hand and curiously turn it this way and that — marking it’s shape and texture, weighing it on my palm.
What was it really, this normal day? It was routine mostly. Washing, ironing, a trip to the store, meals, dishes — the common denominators of women’s days.
It was pleasant here and there: a letter from an old friend, my husband’s telephone call for no reason, a back fence chat with my neighbor, half an hour with a good book and some loud laughs with the children at dinner time.
It was irritating now and then: a sticky ocean of spilled maple syrup, meal time with one greedy child and one finicky one, the arrival of an unexpectedly high bill and a persistent salesman’s theft of fifteen beautiful minutes.
It was deeply joyous at times: the whole house glorified with the strains of the new “Greensleeves” record, our unliterary twelve year old’s first book– begun today, to be finished tomorrow with it’s dedication to –wonder of wonders — his parents, our eight year old and her friend playing dress up — painted and perfumed, scarved and veiled, clattering through the kitchen in spike heels courtesaned innocence.
It was sobering and frightening in some ways: Mom’s waning health and increasing discouragement, the big blow up after dinner about homework and learning to accept responsibility and the guilt that followed my hasty words and the vague, huge uncertainties that drape themselves over us cobweb – like with ten o’clock news from a tense and shattered world.
It was blessed with love throughout: in a pig-shaped breadboard, made and presented to me by our son, in the wave of feeling as I watched our little daughter sleeping in the soft moonlight, her long lashes shadowing her cheek and in an hour alone with my husband at the end of the day.
Just a normal day. A normal day? It’s a Jewel! In time of war, in peril of death, people have dug their hands and faces into the earth and remembered this. In time of sickness and pain, people have buried their faces in pillows and wept for this. In times of loneliness and separation, people have stretched themselves taut and waited for this. In time of hunger, homelessness, want, people have raised boney hands to the skies and stayed alive for this.
Normal day — let me be aware of the treasure you are. 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 then all the world to return to you, normal day.
Photo By: duncan_idaho_2007