A Simple Path – To Celebrating the Ordinary | The BridgeMaker

A Simple Path – To Celebrating the Ordinary

By on Aug 16, 2012

“The key is to be here, fully connected with the moment, paying attention to the details of ordinary life.” ~ Pema Chodron

Life is returning to normal.

Caitlin is getting stronger each day; Andrew is back at college and Emily started the eighth grade today. The summer that almost brought my family to its knees is losing its grip. Peace is taking it place –a soothing peace. A wonderfully ordinary peace.

World on fire

Between Caitlin’s life-threatening kidney infection and Emily’s nasty staph infection, the summer of 2012 will not be remembered fondly. It felt like the world was on fire. Emotions burned hot and uncertainly covered my family like a thick cloud of smoke.

But with God’s grace, there came a defining, extraordinary moment one Saturday in July when my family looked death in the eye and refused to back down. “We are six, not five,” we insisted. The fire began its retreat the next day.

Perfectly ordinary

Now with the calendar inching closer to September, what feels more comfortable is beginning to wrap its love around us like an old, familiar sweater. Ordinary life, and the sweet rhythm it provides, is returning.

Mary Beth and I will take turns taking Emily to dance class; we will make sure the dishwasher is loaded after a Tuesday-night dinner and soon we will make plans for the six of us to meet in Colorado for Thanksgiving.

Sometimes the simple path to celebrating the ordinary begins with realizing fire can devour what we have with little warning.

On Saturday, in a not-so-extraordinary moment, Mary Beth and I will look our dirty carpets in the eye and refuse to back down. “We will rent a steam cleaner and defeat you,” we’ll insist.

At some point during the day, covered in dirty water while standing on soggy carpet, we will think back to the summer of 2012 and consider what might have been, but wasn’t.

No doubt our hearts will continue to celebrate exactly what we have and how perfectly ordinary it is.

What is A Simple Path?

This post is in A Simple Path, a twice-weekly series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty. Click here to read all posts in the series.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • Kathi

    I’m so happy to hear that things for your family are Ordinary; what a comfort!!  

    •  Yes, an absolutely wonderful comfort! Thanks Kathi.

  • When death stares you in the face and you miraculously bypass it, for now, life begins to take on a greater sense of urgency.  Live well, my friend, together with your wonderful family.  Sap yourself with all the gratitude and appreciation, which we all know you do and write about so beautifully. 

  • Nothing wrong with the ordinary – like a familiar shoe…. It’s all GOOD and GOD is GREAT!

    Hugs to you and your family,

    •  You are so right Nancy – the ordinary is wonderful!