I am sitting here, in the dark, the computer screen throws out a strange kind of light and in this unnatural halo I huddle and type. It is the quiet, in-between hour of the day, before the children wake and after I kiss my husband goodbye for the day, after I spend time in the pages of the Word and before breakfast, before they come downstairs with hair tangled and pajamas twisted, rubbing sleep from their eyes. This quiet space is sacred, in an ordinary way. A pause to let words flow, tumble, arrange and re-arrange. The clock behind me measures out time, a sound like the echo of an old man with a cane walking down a tile corridor, the tap of the cane and the thump of the shoe. Tick tock, tick tock.
Some days I use this time wisely, writing furiously. Some days I put my slippers on and I photograph things in the yard, pajama bottoms peeking out and my huge gray hoodie zipped up under my chin. Some days I waste time reading facebook, aimlessly skipping from blog to blog to blog, looking for what? Some days the words that appear on the screen surprise me, sometimes I don’t know what I have to say until I see it there, black-on-white, cursor blinking back at me.
As I write I hear the traffic on the street outside pick up, I notice the sounds of neighbors starting their cars, doors slamming. A dog is barking in the yard next door, begging his master back. I write as the sun starts to peek over the mountains to the East, and the window beside my desk starts to glow with the light of dawn, and the light seeps into the room and details start to emerge from the darkness. I write and the coffee in my cup grows cold, I pick it up to take a sip and am surprised to find it’s gone. I write and hear the sound of small feet hit the floor above me, and the dog pricks up her ears because there is no earthly reason why a dog should leave the warm hollow of her bed until the children are awake, is there?
A friend told me yesterday that she admires the fact that I can write about the ordinary and make it seem like more, give it meaning. I can do that sometimes, and I can live that sometimes, and I wish I lived that way always. What we have is the ordinary, and what the ordinary is in truth is touched, blessed, gilded, gifted, breathtaking. What it is, is Holy and why I write is to remember that. Because I forget, all too often, and I don’t notice the quiet Voice whispering love into my ear all day long, don’t see the offered gifts of beauty being passed to me with tireless grace, one by one by one.
And now the first child is downstairs, and the dog has re-animated and is standing at the door waiting to go out, and enough morning has poured through the window that I can see the day’s work ahead of me, etched in a cold October light. I see the gift of a day before me, sacred and ordinary.