Monday, July 14, 2014

Ordinary Days

Ordinary Days

Always requiring
outside stimulation and
more entertainment
the gift of “Ordinary
Days” escapes me, lost again.

Soul’s rhythms unglued
body breathless and frenzied
center ungrounded,  
spirit scattered, mind frantic
illusive stillness, no home.

“Ordinary Days”
extend simplicity, grace
unbounded now free
to inhale deeply again
exhale, open wide, space, home.

Until 2002, when I began taking a look at the Catholic life, I never knew about “ordinary days”.  "Ordinary days" and a Liturgical Calendar were not part of my Evangelical world. In fact,I saw ordinary days as boring and useless. I lived for days when “life” really happened. I knew that if Spirit was really working, things would NOT be the same, and that a true test of walking in the Spirit was that everything was always new and exciting.  In my own psyche, I lived for “feast days”.  When someone spoke of the rhythms of life, I automatically assumed boredom and sameness. And I had no clue what “living in the present moment” meant. Of course I lived in the present moment! That was the stupidest thing ever, to think one didn’t live in the present moment. I thought routine, rut, and rhythm all meant the same thing.

The Liturgical Calendar has been pure gift to me. Tuning into the liturgical cycle has helped me learn to pay attention to my own internal rhythms. One of my greatest joy has been discovering the beauty of “ordinary days”. And the Buddhist concept of “mindfulness” has taught me to pay attention to my “ordinary days”, to notice their rhythm and to feel the bodily sensations of each moment I’m in. My soul and spirit actually feasts on “ordinary days” way more than “feast days”.  And as I get older, my body appreciates “ordinary days”. When life gets frantic, when I find myself bouncing around with too many things on my calendar, when there aren’t enough hours in the day, and I can find no room for stillness, my soul languishes, and my energy level saps. It takes me a lot of time to recover. I suppose that’s the wisdom of the Liturgical Calendar and its vast space of greenness – way more “ordinary days” than feast days. The need for rest is built into our DNA. The greenness of “ordinary days” IS what actually feeds us and makes us whole again.

Today is an “ordinary day”, and I’m very grateful. It’s gift.